Origins: Animal Eve, a newly revised chapter from The Shape of Life book, is a comprehensive resource on sponges.
For most of human history we weren’t even sure that sponges were animals. Two thousand years ago, they were listed among Aristotle’s ‘Intermediates,’ somewhere between plants and animals. His confusion is understandable to anyone who has ever seen, but not looked too closely at a sponge, which has no head, no brain, no bones, no mouth, and no internal organs. Sponges come in an astonishing variety of shapes that to us look like cups, fans, tubes and colorful, crusty smears on rocks and coral. They range in size from a few millimeters wide to more than a meter tall, like the great barrel-like glass sponge that lives in Antarctic waters. All sponges are aquatic, tied permanently to the water by their lifestyle and body plan. Of the 10,000 species alive today, only 150 live in fresh water, the rest in the ocean. Read the full chapter...
LATEST RELEASE FROM THE SHAPE OF LIFE BOOK. The Next Segment - An Explosion of Life
"What I like doing the most is actually getting out, getting down, getting dirty in the mud with the worms themselves. Getting out there whether it’s pouring rain, whether it’s a low tide at dawn, I don’t care. I just like to be out there with the worms, seeing them in their own habitat."
DAMNHAIT MCHUGH, BIOLOGIST
We keep expanding our resources to better serve you. Now you can read the Shape of Life book right from our website. Every month we’ll be featuring a new chapter. For now, please read about the brilliant Cnidarians who set the animal life in motion.
The Shape of Life series provides FREE classroom media to science teachers and includes over 80 short video segments based upon the exquisite PBS series on the evolution of the animal kingdom on planet earth. These videos are available for streaming, download or on DVD. The Shape of Life website is a complementary resource for teachers to share their classroom experiences and obtain additional resources.