Glass Sponge Skeleton Structure

July 13th, 2005 | Filed under: Biology, Design, Materials, Science | 4 Comments »

John D. Currey, a biologist at the University of York, in England, analyzed Euplectella (Class Hexactinellida), commonly known as glass sponge, and has found “a skeleton of extraordinary structural and mechanical refinement.” It is built in structural levels. Silica particles become filaments, which are formed into spicules, then gathered into larger spicules, which are arranged in a grid with struts and formed into a cylinder, with stiffening surface ridges.

From ZMA:
Marine sponges which have siliceous skeletons built of triaxone – hexaradiate spicules. Which means that the three axes of the spicules intersect at right angles. The axial filament is square in cross section (as opposed to triangular or polygonal in Demosponge spicules). They lack any calcareous or spongin components in the skeleton. Living tissues are syncytial, that is they lack cell walls, and they have distinctive hollow cell-plugs connecting differentiated regions of the tissue. Predominantly found in deep sea environment and called “Glass Sponges”. There are about 500 species.

via NYT

4 Comments on “Glass Sponge Skeleton Structure”

  1. 1 FRANK SHERWIN said at 3:09 pm on September 3rd, 2005:

    Greetings. As a non-darwinian zoologist I find this glass structure fascinating. I have also been reading the Annual Review of Biochemistry (v 74) where Johnson & O’Donnell describe sliding clamps, clamp-loading machines and other multicomponent machines of the DNA molecule. Incredibly, thay state that these machines “have evolved clever strategies to perform their functions.”


    How can submicroscopic, protein-based machines fine-tune themselves?
    Help me in my unbelief.

    – frank sherwin, ICR

  2. 2 kaustav gupta said at 11:30 am on January 22nd, 2006:

    i am an architecture student in india a and designing with modern glass technologies.can u send me more info abot glass sponge structure?

  3. 3 FRANK SHERWIN said at 2:14 pm on January 23rd, 2006:

    Hi Kaustav –

    I think this page has some of the best references regarding glass sponge.
    Is it not altogether amazing that man can produce glass – in a blast furnace – and yet the lowly sponge can – in sophistication & detail – do so at much lower temperatures? I need to have a neo-darwinian explanation from someone out there.

    – frank

  4. 4 Lissette said at 5:11 pm on September 22nd, 2010:

    Hi Im also an architect student from India and Im doing a project base on the glass sponge… Can you send me information about the structure of this sponge? It will really help me out! Thanks a lot…


Leave a Reply