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Giant Barrel Sponge Video Stock Footage

The giant barrel sponge is variable in form. It is very large and firm, typically being barrel-shaped, with a cone-shaped cavity at the apex known as the osculum. However, some individuals within the same population may be low and squat or relatively tall and thin. Similarly, the surface can range from smooth to rough, rugged, and irregular, sometimes with buttresses. In shallow water the color is brownish-red to brownish-gray, but at greater depths and in caves and under-hangs, or when the sponge is undergoing cyclic bleaching events, it is pinkish or white. The giant barrel sponge is probably dioecious, and spawns its eggs or sperm directly into the water column. Clouds of sperm from males are emitted from the osculum, while females produce flocculent masses of eggs that are slightly negatively buoyant. Spawning can occur at any time of the year, and occurs patchily on the reef, but usually with many individuals participating at the same time. Fertilization occurs in the water column. Resulting sponge larvae disperse with ocean currents, but there is some genetic differentiation among populations from Florida, the Bahamas and Belize. Learn more about Giant Barrel Sponge


View related species in family group: Sponge

Animalia: Porifera: Haplosclerida: Demospongiae: Petrosiidae: Xestospongia muta

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