Story: Marine animals without backbones

Vase sponge (3rd of 3)

Vase sponge

Forming urn-shaped growths connected by a common base, vase sponges (Leucettusa lancifer) are members of deep reef communities. They are found at depths of about 20 metres and grow 8–10 centimetres high. These fragile animals are pure white or tinted pink. Sponges have a unique way of feeding, taking in water through tiny pores, filtering out nutrients and expelling the filtered water through large openings. These openings are visible in the two vase sponges to the right.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10048506

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Dennis Gordon and Maggy Wassilieff, 'Marine animals without backbones - Sponges and jellies', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 February 2024)

Story by Dennis Gordon and Maggy Wassilieff, published 12 Jun 2006