Q:

How do sponges reproduce?

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Quick Answer

Sponges, or poriferans, reproduce both sexually and asexually. Asexually, reproduction is achieved by way of budding, which is a process in which new sponges grow out of adult sponges. It may also be achieved asexually by fragmentation, in which a detached piece of an adult sponge develops into a new organism.

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Full Answer

Most sponges are hermaphrodites, possessing both eggs and sperm. Despite this, sexual reproduction most often occurs between sponges, as opposed to within a single organism. Sperm cells are released into the water and, depending on the species, fertilization may take place either inside or outside of another sponge's body. Once fertilized, the eggs develop into larvae, or parenchymula, which then seek a surface in open water on which to grow into an adult sponge.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the differences between sponges and cnidarians?

    A:

    Cnidarians have groups of similar cells that work together as tissues, while sponges have no tissues, only disconnected regions of specialized cells. Each group has a type of cell unique to their group: Sponges have collar cells, and cnidarians have nematocysts. No sponges are capable of movement as adults, while some cnidarians move as adults.

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  • Q:

    What eats sponges?

    A:

    Marine animals, such as hawksbill sea turtles, angelfish, sea slugs, some starfish and the larvae of sponge-flies, feed on sponges. Not many marine animals eat sponges, because multicellular organisms contain less nutrients, are tough to eat and produce chemical toxins as their form of defense.

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  • Q:

    How long do sponges live?

    A:

    The average lifespan of a sponge is 10 years or less. Sponges living in a temperate region may not live past a few years, but those living in the deep ocean may live to be 200 years old.

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  • Q:

    Where do sponges come from?

    A:

    Sea sponges are animals that live on the ocean floor. After human beings harvest and dry them, the sponges serve as the household tool many people use to bathe and wash dishes and cars, among other items.

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