Sea Sponge Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Heather Pier

Heather has taught high school and college science courses, and has a master's degree in geography-climatology.

Come learn about the sea sponge! Sea sponges are ocean animals that share some resemblance to the sponges you might find in your kitchen. The sponges in your kitchen may even be part of a sea sponge!

What Is a Sea Sponge?

When you think of sponges, you probably picture the sponge in your kitchen. Believe it or not, your kitchen sponge may actually have come from a sea sponge!

The sea sponge is a type of animal that lives in the world's oceans. These sponges are invertebrates, which means they do not have backbones. Sea sponges can be many different colors, sizes, and shapes. Very few animals eat sponges so they can live for a very long time. Some types have been found to live over 200 years!

Sea sponges can be many different shapes and colors.

Their body texture looks very much like the texture of your kitchen sponge. Both your kitchen sponge and a sea sponge get that texture from their pores. Pores are tiny holes in the sponge's body that let water, gases, and food in and out.

Where Do Sea Sponges Live?

Sea sponges are called sea sponges because they live in the world's seas and oceans. They can be found in all of the oceans. Sponges can live in both warm and cold water as well as both deep and shallow water.

They aren't picky, as long as they're in saltwater. Sea sponges can only survive in saltwater, so if you put them in freshwater, they will quickly die. They are also very sensitive to air and do not like to be taken out of the water because their pores get filled with air. If too many of their pores are filled with air, they will die.

This sponge may die when exposed to air or freshwater.

Sea spongs also like to live in locations where the water is clear and clean. Picture what would happen to your kitchen sponge if you put it in mud. All the pores in the sponge would be filled with muddy water and dirt. If a sea sponge lives in dirty water, all of its pores get filled with dirt just like your kitchen sponge. When this happens to a sea sponge, it dies.

Parts of a Sea Sponge

The most important feature of a sea sponge is its pores. These are the tiny holes that let water, gases, and chemicals into and out of sea sponges' bodies.

The pores are easier to see on dead sponges like this one. They look like little holes punched in the body of the sponge.

If they didn't have pores, they would not be able to absorb any food from the water or get rid of any waste. If they weren't able to eat or get rid of their waste, they would die just like a human would if they couldn't eat or excrete.

Most animals (including you) have a brain that tells the rest of their body what to do. Sea sponges don't have a brain, a digestive system, or even blood! Everything that goes on in their bodies is determined by the water going into and out of their bodies. The water gives them food and oxygen, and it flushes out anything bad.

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