Porifera

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m (Protected "Porifera" [move=sysop])
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<center><big><big><big>Porifera</big></big></big></center>
<center><big><big><big>Porifera</big></big></big></center>
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[[Image:Elephant-ear-sponge.jpg|thumb|center|An orange Elephant Ear sponge, ''Agelas clathrodes'' ([[Demospongiae]], [[Ceractinomorpha]], Agelasida, Agelasidae) at the Florida Keys National Maritime Sanctuary.]]
[[Image:Elephant-ear-sponge.jpg|thumb|center|An orange Elephant Ear sponge, ''Agelas clathrodes'' ([[Demospongiae]], [[Ceractinomorpha]], Agelasida, Agelasidae) at the Florida Keys National Maritime Sanctuary.]]
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{{Porifera}}
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The most primitive form of multicellular animal life, it is thought that sponges evolved independently of [[metazoa]]n animal life, or else of [[Eumetazoa|higher metazoa]]. A recent alternative theory, suggested through [[molecular phylogeny]] is that they represent a paraphyletic grade of [[basal]] metazoa.  Regardless of their actual phylogenetic relationship, the Porifera in many respects they are still little more than colonial [[Choanoflagellata|choanoflagellate]] protozoa. Over 5000 recent species are known, and many more fossil species. All are benthic, sessile, suspension-feeders which inhabited a wide variety of exclusively marine environments, from the early [[Cambrian]] to the present day.
The most primitive form of multicellular animal life, it is thought that sponges evolved independently of [[metazoa]]n animal life, or else of [[Eumetazoa|higher metazoa]]. A recent alternative theory, suggested through [[molecular phylogeny]] is that they represent a paraphyletic grade of [[basal]] metazoa.  Regardless of their actual phylogenetic relationship, the Porifera in many respects they are still little more than colonial [[Choanoflagellata|choanoflagellate]] protozoa. Over 5000 recent species are known, and many more fossil species. All are benthic, sessile, suspension-feeders which inhabited a wide variety of exclusively marine environments, from the early [[Cambrian]] to the present day.
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The major fossil record of these animals consists of the resistant spicules. After death, spicules are scattered across the sea floor and may be found as disarticulated microfossils.
The major fossil record of these animals consists of the resistant spicules. After death, spicules are scattered across the sea floor and may be found as disarticulated microfossils.
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== Classification ==
== Classification ==

Latest revision as of 17:33, 20 March 2011

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