Carnivorous thingie in the deep sea

nature

Why Evolution Is True

Nature continues to astound us: there are millions of undescribed species, and many of them defy even the most fertile imagination.

Have a look at the creature below (no, it’s not a plant), and guess what it is (I’ve left the title ambiguous).

It’s a sponge.  And if that’s not weird enough, it’s a carnivorous sponge: it apparently eats copepods, small aquatic crustaceans.

As you may know, the vast majority of sponges are filter feeders, removing organic particles (bacteria and phytoplankton) from water by sucking it in, taking out the good stuff, and expelling the water.  But in the deep sea, where organic material is scarce, some sponges have taken up the habit of eating animals. While this has been known for 17 years, beginning in 2000 and continuing through 2007, a series of deep-sea dives using remotely operated submarine vehicles have discovered these weird creatures living off the…

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