he sea sponge is a strange creature. Classed as an aquatic animal, but missing the usual features such as limbs, eyes, nervous systems, blood or organs, their animal credentials have remained somewhat thin on the ground – until now.

Though sponges are traditionally described as being entirely sessile – remaining in one place for their entire lives – scientists studying mysterious trails stretching several metres across the Arctic seafloor have found the first evidence of sponges being far more mobile than previously thought.

The trails, some of which were seen leading to living sponges, were found to be composed of sponge “spicules” – spike-like support elements in sponges – direct evidence of how the sponges had moved.


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