Science Of...

Carnivorous Sponges: The Venus Flytraps Of The Sea

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

Carnivorous sponges typically live in the deep sea. Unlike other sponges, they aren't filter-feeders, and instead feed on the unfortunate crustaceans that become caught on their velcro-like hooks. The sponges don't have a stomach or digestive system, so they slowly eat their prey at the cellular level: individual cells travel to, cover, and digest their catches. There are more than 100 species of carnivorous sponge known to science.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Sponges typically feed on bacteria and single-celled organisms that they sift out of water currents. 00:26

  2. The individual cells of carnivorous sponges engulf and digest caught prey. 01:03

  3. Carnivorous sponges have probably been around for about 200 million years. 03:15

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.

Advertisement