Common Name: Glove Sponge
Scientific Name: Spongia officinalis
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Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Porifera
Class: Demospongiae
Order: Dictyoceratida
Family: Spongiidae
Genus: Spongia
Species: S. officinalisfree html hit counter
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This animal is a common bath sponge that is found in the Mediterranean Sea. Many European countries harvest the sponge. It is easy to spot; because it tends to be round with a 35cm diameter. The osculum is found in the top middle of the sponge. They are found at depths between 1 meter and 40 meters.
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They were once very common, but as the population of these sponges have fallen, their value has shot up. They are now a rare and luxurious item. It takes seven years for a sponge to grow large enough to harvest. In this species of sponge there are not boy and girl, but each individual has both egg and sperm. The sperm cells are released into the water and enter sponges through the pore cells and travel to find the eggs. When an egg is fertilized the egg divides rapidly until it is a free swimming larva. The embryo sponge will sink to the sea floor. There on the sea floor the embryo will grow into a full grown sponge.
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Author: Dylan G 
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Published:10/10
Source:
http://data.gbif.org/species/14693590 http://www.robinsonlibrary.com/science/zoology/porifera/demospongiae /bath.htm http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/usdisp/spongia.html
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Photo Credit: http://subaqua.web.cern.ch/subaqua/Photos/2004-05-07-Golf-Juan- JC/Golf%20Juan%20JC-Pages/Image15.html