Here’s a link to a picture of the spiky sponge,  Cinachyra antarctica

Note: Since there are not a lot of pictures for reuse of these creatures, I’ll just use random pictures of SpongeBob Squarepants.

How long do they live? Since they grow in very cold conditions and very slowly, some are thought to live up to 1,550 years old [1].

Where are they found? As their name implies, they live in the really cold waters of the Antarctic Ocean.

What do they eat? They are filter feeders and therefore filter in plankton for nutrition.

What do they look like? They are round-ish and light beige in color with spikes that reach outwards from their body. Check out the link at the beginning of this article for a great picture of the real thing,

How do they reproduce? Both with or without sex. They can reproduce asexually when a fragment buds off the main sponge (or even regenerate into a new sponge when a piece breaks off). When they reproduce sexually, eggs and sperm join and a larvae is formed. After a while that larvae attaches to the ocean floor and forms into a sponge.

How do scientists know how old they are? By analyzing growth marks, using size-frequency-distribution (math), metabolic rate, and modeling [1].

Pictured here: Not Cinachyra antarctica.

So what are we lacking? There’s no information regarding the nuclear genome of Cinachyra antarctica on NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information). There’s also not much data concerning reproductive senescence in this species.

Please contact me if you have information regarding how this species ages, if it ages.

  1. Gatti, Susanne. “The rôle of sponges in high-Antarctic carbon and silicon cycling-a modelling approach= Die Rolle der Schwämme im hochantarktischen Kohlenstoff-und Silikatkreislauf-ein Modellierungsansatz.”Berichte zur Polar-und Meeresforschung (Reports on Polar and Marine Research) 434 (2002).