New Carnivorous Sponge Species Discovered

carnivorous sponge

A new species of carnivorous sponge has been discovered in the North Atlantic Ocean by a team of scientists from the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO).

The sponge, Cladorhiza kenchingtonae, was named after Dr. Ellen Kenchington of Fisheries and Oceans Canada because of her numerous contributions to the scientific field of deep-sea benthic ecology, biodiversity monitoring and protection.

The sponge is approximately 2-m long and feeds on zooplankton. The surface of the sponge is covered in microscopic hook-like glass spicules (sponge bones), so the whole sponge has a Velcro-like surface.

A sample of the sponge was collected as part of Kenchington’s research trip in 2010 aboard the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Hudson.

The sample of this sponge was collected from the Flemish Cap, northeast of the Grand Banks at a depth of almost 3,000 m.

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