What Are The Characteristics Of Poriferans?


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Rosie Normanton answered
Poriferans are marine creatures with a pore-like appearance; they are more commonly known as sponges. Typically, they resemble small bathroom sponges, and are generally a rounded shape. The body of a poriferan consists of a jelly-like mesohyl substance; this is surrounded by a layer of cells. Sponges are unique in that a number of their bodily cells have the ability to change from specialized cells to other cell types - in most animals, once a cell has specialized, it can not undergo change again. To obtain oxygen and essentially food nutrients, poriferans have a constant water flow through their bodies, which causes these important substances to be absorbed and waste products to be removed. Due to this process, sponges are without nervous, circulatory or digestive systems.

  • Poriferan reproduction
Most poriferan creatures reproduce through the process of sexual reproduction. There is no physical interaction between male and female sponges; instead, males will release sperm cells into the marine environment. These sperm cells will meet ova either in the water, if the female has released the cell, or in the female if they have retained their egg. The sperm and egg cell can then combine to form a new being.

  • Other reproductive methods in sponges
Alternatively, poriferans may reproduce in a more unique way - through the method of budding. Here, fragments of a sponge are broken off. If these fragments have the appropriate cells they will be able to bud in a new sponge being. Some poriferans can produce gemmules. These are essentially survival pods, which will go on the form new sponges when living conditions are suitable (for instance, when the water temperature is correct). This helps in keeping the poriferan species alive.

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