This paper reviews studies on the hexactinellid glass sponges (Hexactinellida: Porifera) that have organic silica spicules. According to its physical properties (microdensity, Young’s modulus, and light transmission), the material of the spicules is similar to amorphous silica; however, sponge spicules are birefringent, which suggests that they have a highly ordered crystal-like nature. Mineralized remnants of siliceous spicules composed of chemically inert materials are preserved in sedimentary rocks and provide evidence of the ecological state of the ancient biosphere. Sponges occur in waters with low temperatures; therefore, they grow very slowly and live for hundreds of years. The organic silica spicules exhibit the capacity for triboluminescence. The generated light emission may be used by symbiotic bacteria on the spicule surface.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2013
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