Have you ever heard about ‘Chicken liver sponge’? No, not the chicken liver you eat but a sponge.
Sponges have been playing an essential role in the biochemical cycles and have been widely used in the health and beauty fields. In this post, we are going to talk about a sponge named Chicken liver sponge.
It is species of sea sponge found in the water of Bermuda. It belongs to the family of Chondrillidae.
What is Chicken Liver Sponge (Chondrilla Nucula)?
The Caribbean Chicken liver sponge is also known as sponge Chondrilla Nucula. It is greenish to brown in color and has an amorphous shape.
It belongs to the kingdom of Animalia and the class of Demospongiae. Its specimens have been used in researches. Furthermore, it was found that it contains strains of bacteria, which are said to have antimicrobial properties.
The Scientific classification of a Chicken liver sponge is as follows:
- Kingdom – Animalia
- Phylum – Porifera
- Class – Demospongiae
- Family – Chondrillidae
- Genus – Condrilla
10 Astonishing Facts about Chicken Liver Sponge
1. Chicken Liver Sponge can be Divided into Two Distinct Habits
They can be categorized on the basis of their colors and habitat (let’s name it as type A and B, to distinguish easily):
- The first type is more common and easily found. They usually have a dark brown color and are often mottled.
- One’s growing in dark are often pale and sometimes have a walnut brown color.
- They are amorphous and have smooth, shiny, and glabrous surfaces.
- Spread horizontally, they are thickly crusted (about 1 cm).
- This type does not cover larger areas.
- Commonly found in lagoons and spread over rocky substrates or other sponges.
- They are often yellowish and brown with dark brown rims
- Along with being fulvous, they also have oscules surrounded by paler areas.
- They are thinly crusting (1 to 2 mm thick) on rocky areas.
- Their consistency is tougher and cartilaginous.
- Cover a much larger area than the first type.
- They are typically found at Millepora terraces and vertical cliffs.
2. They play an Important Role in Maintaining Ecosystem.
These sponges release toxins and are capable of allelopathy, which results in a growing large number of sessile organisms in the reef domain.
How that in the water column, many other sponges overgrow, because of their interaction with Chondrilla Nucula.
3. Chicken Liver Sponge do Sexual Reproduction
The reproduction by this sponge has been observed to be sexual and fertilization takes place internally. Unlike, Freshwater sponges who can reproduce sexually as well as asexually.
Also, the regeneration speed of Chondrilla Nucula is much faster than other sponges. So, it generally recovers easily, whenever any damage or disturbance occurs.
It can also produce clones of itself while reproducing through a modular growth system.
4. It can be Found in Deep Dark Caves and Also in Sunny Habitats
It can survive in tropical as well as temperate habitat. You can also find a wide variety of substrates including rocks, mangrove roots, and reefs.
Chondrilla Nucula is a very adaptable species, they can live in places that are very shallow as well as deeper reefs.
5. How and What Does a Chicken Liver Sponge Eat?
These multicellular organisms have a body that contains many pores. So, the sponge-like other organisms belonging to its kind is a filter feeder. It absorbs nutrients and feeds on viruses, plankton, and detritus.
Well, coming to the point of how they eat it. Sponges feed themselves by filtering plankton out of the water through the pores present in their bodies.
So, you can guess just by reading it, that Chondrilla Nucula doesn’t have a digestive system. It is only through the technique mentioned above, they feed themselves.
Quite simple! Right? Not like us humans at all, they are very self-dependent and no need of support, and never fussy about their diet.
6. Who eats Chicken Liver Sponge?
There are some aquatic organisms that feed on these sponges. They are also known to be preyed on by zebra slugs, angelfish, and hawksbill turtles.
When digesting it, these predators have to store some of its toxins in their bodies. As a result, Hawksbill turtles and zebra slug are harmful for consumption by humans.
One should also note that consuming Hawksbill turtles can make humans very sick because of their sponge diet, but still, they can be and are hunted for their tortoiseshell.
Also, some fishes who eat the Chondrilla Nucula, this action can affect how they live and grow. It has an effect on the behavior of the fish and also their reproduction.
7. It’s an Invasive Species
Its often attached and grows on live rock. It is an invasive species, which means, it can cause ecological harm like harming natural resources in an environment, where it is not native.
Likewise, it can hold on to your rock work and encrust it. You should get rid of it before it grows more. It’s really hard to get rid of it from a rock and to stop its growth.
One of the best ways to get rid of it is to lower phosphate levels.
8. They are Visually Blind
They don’t possess organs like eyes, nose, and tongue. They are multicellular animals who are blind, they can’t see, taste, and hear.
The research answers that sponges may have some sensory or detecting cells, which helps them expel, contract water, and also helps to contact other organisms.
9. Do Chicken Liver Sponge have any Commercial Value?
Well, the answer is Yes. They are important in many aquaculture circumstances. It also provides biomass to our scientists, for their biomedical and chemical researches.
Also, some compounds which can be found in Chondrilla Nucula are said to be bioactive and have effects that are helpful in medical studies.
10. Discovery of Fungal Symbionts in a Chicken Liver Sponge
It was discovered that the oocytes of Chondrilla Nucula contain yeast. It is a new discovery, as previously it was only known to bacteria and cyanobacteria.
The cells present in the Chicken liver sponge select the bacteria and fungal, that support its existence and are passed down to the successive generation of its kind. Their presence plays a role in providing nutrients and protection from UV rays to Chondrilla Nucula.
There are many studies going on sponges on their life cycle and on how they can be useful to us. This discovery is very important and will further help many researchers to determine more of its function.
This was all about the Chicken liver sponge. I hope this article was helpful and interesting for you all to read. Since life is all about learning new things.