Why are sponges considered colonial organisms?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Sponges are simple animals in the Phylum Porifera. They have two layers of cells with a jelly-like material sandwiched between. They do not have highly specialized systems in the body. Rather, they rely on water flow throughout the sponge transporting food, oxygen and wastes. When they reproduce, they can carry out both sexual and asexual reproduction. During asexual reproduction, if a piece of a sponge breaks off, it can reattach someplace else and form a new colony. When well-fed, a sponge will asexually reproduce by forming identical buds. These may remain attached to the colony, or break off and form new colonies. Sometimes, sponges send out gemmules, or survival pods, when conditions are not quite perfect for their survival. Sometimes, these may merge with cells of other sponges from the same species to form a new colony.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial