The sea squirts were gone, and all of a sudden the glass sponges had tripled" in number, Richter says.
Caption: Glass sponges, which provide habitat for feather and brittle stars in frigid Antarctic waters, flourished following the collapse of the Larsen A ice shelf.
Konecki and Targett (1989) note that glass sponges serve as important nesting and refuge sites for Antarctic fishes, and destruction of sponge communities by bottom trawling could have an impact on fish ecology in the region.
In addition, five glass sponges, Rhabdocalyptus sp.
are so called because their skeletons are built from glasslike silica minerals, not carbonates.
Basket sponges, Geodia, and glass sponges
Nearly 1,000 ft down is the haystack zone, huge limestone blocks standing 150 ft tall and home to unusual animals and delicate corals such as stalked crinoids, porcelain corals, glass sponges
and deep-sea gorgonians.
By shining extremely short pulses of laser light into the transparent, liquid-filled glass sponges
, the researchers generate ultrasonic waves within the material, allowing them to monitor the liquid's behavior.