Venus flower basket is the glass sponge of phylum-Porifera, found in deep sea and oceans. Let us see different types of Venus flower baskets.
- Euplectella aspergillum
- Euplectella paratetractina
- Euplectella plumosum
- Euplectella simplex
- Euplectella suberea
- Euplectella timorensis
- Euplectella cucumber
- Euplectella gibbsa
- Euplectella jovis
Venus flower baskets are mostly found near Japan, the Philippines Islands and the Indian ocean. Let us discuss some of the characteristic features of Venus flower baskets along with their lifespan and lifecycle in this article
Venus’ flower basket characteristics
Venus flower baskets are a great example of marine fossils from multicellular organisms on Earth. Let us understand some of its features.
Listed below are major characteristic features of venus flower baskets:
- Venus flower baskets are acoelomate that is they lack true body coelom but have gastrointestinal cavities containing digestive enzymes.
- Venus flower baskets mostly feed upon the organic debris found on the seafloor. They are the major component of the benthic ecosystem.
- Venus flower basket is an organism- Euplectella aspergillum. The body is vase-shaped and covered with a soft, elastic delicate, layer of cells having a net-like structure composed of 6-pointed inorganic siliceous spicules.
- The animal skeleton is the basket which gives shelter to some abyssal shrimp to feed, live, mate and die inside this home.
- A very known fact about venus flower baskets is that they are being customised as a wedding gift in Japanese culture to symbolise the “wedding vow”- together till death.
- Some sponges are also bio-illuminating to attract plankton and crustaceans.
- Some sponges have the ability to extract silicic acid to silica and are bio-producers of glass fibres and optics.
- Venus flower baskets have six spicules of approx. 3-4m long, that is why they lay under the class hexactinellids.
- The body of venus flower baskets is curved, vertical-tubulated and radially symmetrical and is able to release electric signals which can be used to trap the prey.
Venus’s flower basket lifespan
Lifespan is defined as the number of years an organism survives. Let us see about the lifespan of these sponges.
The lifespan of Venus’ flower basket is believed to be ∽10000 years. They are long-lived marine organisms and survive along 100-1000m depths of sea floor beneath the water. They have many ostia with one large osculum over their body for the channelization of fluids.
The sponge specimen, Scolymastra joubini, was expected to live over 20,000 years. The silicic acid deposits accumulated deep into bioherms called sponge reefs. These silicas protect the sponges from predators such as squat lobsters, ornamental crabs and shrimp.
Venus’s flower basket life cycle
Venus’s flower baskets are truly glass sponges anchored with substratum rocks having tiny tufts of glass sculptures. Let us see its life cycle in brief.
- The life cycle of venus flower basket starts from the release of sperm from the young sponge.
- Sperm cells reach the female sponges by swimming and enter the egg cell which leads to fertilization. After fertilization of egg cells, a larva forms and is carried away by water currents towards the substratum.
- After anchoring to the sea beds, the larva develops into a complete individual.
- As they are hermaphrodite organism, they follow syngenesis.
- Matured sponges inseminate each other by transferring their genetic materials through their gametic exchange.
- Sometimes matured sponges also can reproduce by budding in which a section of their tube body is broken into pieces and each part gives birth to young ones and develops into an individual.
Venus flower baskets are found at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. They are marine glass sponges that are tough but internally flexible and made up of silicon. Their specific lattice structure makes them able to channel the lights through the silicon strands like fibre optics.