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Hexactinellid or Glass Sponges

Hexactinellid – or “glass” sponges are a relatively rare Class of Porifera.  This one in particular is Euplectella aspergillum, commonly known as Venus’ Flower Basket and lives in the deep-water sediments of the western Pacific. The critters filter out silicic acid from seawater to build their silica body.  The rigidity created by the silica provides the structural stability the animals need to survive the pressure at the depths in which they live. Researchers at the Max Plank Institute are studying the structures of the silica to increase efficient of fiber optics, as well as how load-bearing beams are designed and fabricated for architectural applications.

Evelyn Busch, MA

Collections Manager of Education Collections, Health Sciences and Scientific Instruments

Colleen Carter

Assistant Collections Manager of Education Collections and Health Sciences

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