Oceanologists under the leadership of Max Planck, a professor at the Institute of Marine Microbiology of the Max Planck Society in Germany, have found three species of walking sea sponges off the northern coast of Russia.
Modern sponges and their fossilized ancestors led a largely immobile lifestyle. They could only move with the help of spore gemmules and germ cells.
However, in their new work, oceanologists found three types of modern sponges at once, which can move long enough distances in adulthood.
More than half of the sponges were located inside fancy soil tapes, which were covered with hair-like structures. Having studied their structure, biologists came to the conclusion that these stripes were traces of the movement of sponges along the surface of the Langset Ridge.
We found stripes of many intertwined hairs at the bottom of the ocean, the lower part of which was connected to separate sponges. Presumably, these tracks arose as a result of the movement of these invertebrate creatures.
We are talking about three types of sponges – Geodia parva, Geodia hentscheli and Stelletta haphidiophora. It is not yet known how exactly they move, since the sponges lack muscles.
Researchers hope that further expeditions to this Arctic region will help answer this question.