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Characteristics of Phylum Porifera



1.- Multicellular; body an aggregation of several types of cells differentiated for various functions, some of which                    are organized into incipient tissues of a low level of integration.


2.- Body with pores (ostia), canals, and chambers that form a unique system of water currents on which sponges                    depend for food and oxygen.


3.- Mostly marine; all aquatic.


4.- Radial symmetry or none.


5.- Outer surface of flat pinacocytes; most interior surfaces lined with flagellated collar cells (choanocytes) that create        water currents; a gelatinous protein matrix called mesohyl contains amebocytes of various types and skeletal                    elements.


6.- Skeletal structure of fibrillar collagen (a protein) and calcareous or siliceous crystalline spicules, often                               combined with variously modified collagen (spongin).


7.- No organs or true tissues; digestion intracellular; excretion and respiration by diffusion.


8.- Reactions to stimuli apparently local and independent in cellular sponges, but electrical signals in syncytial                      glass sponges; nervous system probably absent.


9.- All adults sessile and attached to substratum.


10.- Asexual reproduction by buds or gemmules and sexual reproduction by eggs and sperm; free-swimming                            flagellated larvae in most.




Integrated principles of zoology / Cleveland P. Hickman, Jr. ... [et al.]. – 14th ed. p. cm.

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