Carnivorous Sponges: The Venus Flytraps Of The Sea
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.
Check Out This Month's Most Popular Topic
Key Facts In This Video
Sponges typically feed on bacteria and single-celled organisms that they sift out of water currents. (0:26)
The individual cells of carnivorous sponges engulf and digest caught prey. (1:03)
Carnivorous sponges have probably been around for about 200 million years. (3:15)