delware environmental institute

Encrusting sea sponges use chemical cues as shield to deter predators, expand territory

Sea sponges are benthic organisms that reside on the sea floor, fixed in one place. Known for their presence on coral reefs, these animals also can be found from the shallow to the deep waters of the ocean. In a new paper out in Scientific Reports, a Nature journal, University of Delaware postdoctoral researcher Eva Ternon and colleagues at several international universities report new evidence that the Mediterranean encrusting sponge Crambe crambe (C. crambe) emits chemical cues from its tissues to generate a chemical shield, most likely for defense and communication purposes.