Story: Marine animals without backbones

Rock sponge (2nd of 2)

Rock sponge

Some 34 species of rock sponge are known from northern New Zealand waters, where they grow on underwater mountains. Rock sponges absorb dissolved silica to form their skeletons. This brightly coloured species, Reidispongia coerulea, was found at a depth of 250 metres. They derive their colour from pigmented bacteria living inside them.

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NIWA – National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

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How to cite this page:

Dennis Gordon and Maggy Wassilieff, 'Marine animals without backbones - Sponges and jellies', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 May 2022)

Story by Dennis Gordon and Maggy Wassilieff, published 12 Jun 2006