Sponge Videos


  • Sponges: Origins


  • Sponge Animation: Spicules
  • Sponge Animation: Wild Ride Through a Sponge


  • Sponges: Time-lapse of Sponge Cells Recombining
  • Sponges: Filter Feeding Made Visible


  • Mitchell Sogin, Evolutionary Biologist: Proof of the First Animal
  • Cristina Diaz, Taxonomist: Sponge Biology

General Info

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    Book with pencil

Role in Ecosystem

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    Bee with arrows around it


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    Thermometer and waves

Human Interaction

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    Human next to globe


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    Skull of dinosaur
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    Lesson Plan
    What Is An Animal
    In this lesson students discuss the definition of an animal. What characteristics do all animals have in common? To introduce the subject the teacher gives a brief discussion of the five kingdoms (see reference below). What evidence is needed to decide that an organism is an animal? Students watch the video Sponges: Origins and reconsider the definition of an animal.

    Full Lesson Plan

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    Komodo Sponge
    Sponges: The Trailblazers
    Scientists believe sponges are the oldest animal phylum. They first appeared about 600 million years ago.

    Download Factsheet

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    Closeup of orange sponge
    Sponges: Animal Eve, Where Do Organisms Come From?
    I'm obsessed with learning where we came from. And what I mean by that is not who your mother and father are, or your grandparents, but rather where do the organisms come from that gave rise to complex animals like us.

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