Xestospongia testudinaria is one of the sponge species that dominates coral reef sponge communities in this region. It is common at depths greater than 10 meters (33 ft) down to 120 meters (390 ft) and can reach a diameter of 1.8 meters (6 feet). However, the genetic variation of this iconic sponge in the region remains unknown. Barrel shaped, with thick walls. The giant barrel sponge, though living as a solitary sponge … Brittle and crumbly in consistency. Purple to red brown externally, tan internally. Surface with protuberances with round or blade-like outlines. Fun FAct. Some Giaint Barrel Sponges in the Caribbean may be over 2,300 years old, making them some of the most long-lived animals on Earth. 5 -end partition at the species level and, therefore, seemed to be more suitable for taxonomic studies and DNA bar-cod-ing. The giant barrel sponge (Xestospongia muta) is the largest species of sponge found growing on Caribbean coral reefs. The domain is Eukarya. The genus is Xestospongia. Oscules on the inner side of vase; 0.2 - 0.3 cm (Ref. Giant barrel sponges, such as Xestospongia muta, are referred to by some as "Redwoods of the Reef." The phylum is Porifera. Dr. M May 8, 2014 Barrel Sponge giant largest record holder It is probably this 2.5 meter (8.2 feet) diameter giant that was a tourist attraction for scuba divers visiting Curaçao in … 415). Xestospongia muta, commonly known as the giant barrel sponge, a member of the Xestospongia genus, is one of the largest species of sponge found in the Caribbean.It grows at depths from 10 meters down to 120 metres (390 ft), and can reach a diameter of 1.8 metres (6 feet). To date, however, no study has attempted to determine the usefulness of the I3-M11 partition as a genetic marker to assess the population genetic structure of sponges. The order is Haplosclerida. The class is Demospongiae. The role of the so-called ‘giant barrel sponge’ for the reef ecosystem has been studied repeatedly, as have its various bioactive compounds. The giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta (Demo- Like most sponges, this species has a glass-like skeleton. POPULATION ECOLOGY. This phylum has been classified variously but the classification suggested by Hyman (1940) and Burton (1967) are of considerable importance. The giant barrel sponge is considered to be on the second trophic level, meaning that it is a primary consumer since it consumes photosynthetic cyanobacteria, which are primary producers (McMurray et al., 2008). Xestospongia muta, also called giant barrel sponges, are among the largest species of sponges, growing up to six feet in diameter. It is brown-grey to reddish in colour, with a hard or stony texture. The species is Muta. The family is Petrosiidae. This group of sponges are known to reach massive sizes and ages of 2000 years or more in warm Caribbean seas (Van Soest, 2012) . 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giant barrel sponge classification

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