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Sponges and their microscopic endosymbionts are now being researched as possible sources of medicines for treating a wide range of diseases.Dolphins have been observed using sponges as tools while foraging.Sponges are known for regenerating from fragments that are broken off, although this only works if the fragments include the right types of cells. When conditions deteriorate, for example as temperatures drop, many freshwater species and a few marine ones produce gemmules, "survival pods" of unspecialized cells that remain dormant until conditions improve and then either form completely new sponges or recolonize the skeletons of their parents.The mesohyl functions as an endoskeleton in most sponges, and is the only skeleton in soft sponges that encrust hard surfaces such as rocks.The shapes of their bodies are adapted for maximal efficiency of water flow through the central cavity, where it deposits nutrients, and leaves through a hole called the osculum.Many sponges have internal skeletons of spongin and/or spicules of calcium carbonate or silicon dioxide. Although there are freshwater species, the great majority are marine (salt water) species, ranging from tidal zones to depths exceeding 8,800 m (5.5 mi).
The inner surface is covered with choanocytes, cells with cylindrical or conical collars surrounding one flagellum per choanocyte.Demosponges constitute about 90% of all known sponge species, including all freshwater ones, and have the widest range of habitats.Calcareous sponges, which have calcium carbonate spicules and, in some species, calcium carbonate exoskeletons, are restricted to relatively shallow marine waters where production of calcium carbonate is easiest.The single-celled choanoflagellates resemble the choanocyte cells of sponges which are used to drive their water flow systems and capture most of their food.This along with phylogenetic studies of ribosomal molecules have been used as morphological evidence to suggest sponges are the sister group to the rest of animals.Sponge Bob Square Pants was just challenged to a competition by his best friend, Patrick Star, to see who can deliver more jellyfish and earn the most points. He's got to get a spatula that will fit his mood and outfit. They are multicellular organisms that have bodies full of pores and channels allowing water to circulate through them, consisting of jelly-like mesohyl sandwiched between two thin layers of cells.More commonly, the mesohyl is stiffened by mineral spicules, by spongin fibers or both.Demosponges use spongin, and in many species, silica spicules and in some species, calcium carbonate exoskeletons.Sponges have unspecialized cells that can transform into other types and that often migrate between the main cell layers and the mesohyl in the process.Sponges do not have nervous, digestive or circulatory systems.