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Cinachyra antarctica (Carter, 1872)

provided by British Antarctic Survey

Description

Round, white or pale yellow body, covered in distinctive sticking-out tufts of long spicules. Cinachyra antarctica is a slow-growing sponge and reaches up to 30cm high.

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Species details

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Species distribution

18 to 761m or more

Sponges are suspension feeders, and in Antarctica are commonly preyed on by starfish, however the spicules on Cinachyra antarctica probably act as a defence against predators, preventing them from reaching the sponge body.
Some estimates have calculated that Cinachyra antarctica may reach 1,550 years in age. However there is no way to directly determine the age of a sponge, so this estimate was derived using oxygen consumption and metabolic rate as an approximate measure.

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