Hello fellow reef lovers, it’s Friday!! Yesterday was crazy with running back and forth to help with the moving at our house and helping the scientists at work. I tried and tried yesterday evening as well to get a ride in but with everything going on I can’t seem to find the time!! Stijn showed up this morning at the house to help out as I have to be underwater in an hour to photograph the sub and it’s passengers then I can go home to help with the moving. This is my buddy Arron hovering above a beautiful cluster of Stove-Pipe Sponges at the dive site called “Karpata in Bonaire. Aplysina archeri (also known as stove-pipe sponge because of its shape) is a species of tube sponge that has long tube-like structures of cylindrical shape. Many tubes are attached to one particular part of the organism. A single tube can grow up to 5 feet high and 3 inches thick. These sponges mostly live in the Atlantic Ocean: the Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida, and Bonaire. They are filter feeders; they eat food such as plankton or suspended detritus as it passes them. Very little is known about their behavioral patterns except for their feeding ecology and reproductive biology. Tubes occur in varying colors including lavender, gray and brown. They reproduce both by asexual and sexual reproduction. When they release their sperms, the sperms float in water and eventually land somewhere where they begin to reproduce cells and grow. These sponges take hundreds of years to grow and never stop growing until they die. Snails are among their natural predators. The dense population of these sponges is going down because of toxic dumps and oil spills. Off to the sea, talk to you soon, Barry MORE: Karpata Bonaire, Purple Stove Pipe Sponges
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