Porifera (Sponges)

How do sea sponges benefit the environment?

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03/28/2007

The use of marine sponges as bioindicators of water contamination is well established due to their simple body structure, filter-feeding life style and widespread abundance. Sponges are unique among marine invertebrates in that they have no internal organs specifically designed for filtering large volumes of water. When the water around them is badly polluted, the sponges die and can be an indication to the human population in the area that soemthing is wrong. Also,as living organisms (even the most primitive, as they are), they are part of the food chain and this by definition serve some other organisms as food; sea sponges serve as the primary food source for endangered hawksbill sea turtles.