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Student Project

Geodia globostellifera Carter, 1880
Species Factsheet: A focus on spicule morphology

Jenny Shiau 2018


I am steady as a rock, but I’m not a rock. I can move quickly when I’m small, yet I have no organs. What am I but a humble sponge. I am Geodia globostellifera, a sessile marine sponge that lives on the ocean floor and can be found in warm tropical and temperate waters of Australia (Cárdenas et al. 2011; Uriz 2002). This species of sponge belongs to the class of Demonspongiae and is nested within the Tetractinellida (Astrophorida) order (Cárdenas et al. 2011; Hooper and van Soest 2002). G. globostellifera are rough and hard in texture and can be a creamy white to dark brown in colour (Uriz 2002). The sponge’s hard outer layer is notoriously known to be covered in sterraster spicules, which are small glasslike skeletons of the sponge (Schoeppler et al. 2017). Identifying G. globostellifera can be hard. However, thanks to its diverse mineralised skeleton structure, G. globostellifera can be identified with the proper dichotomous key and description.

Although not much is known about this species, G. globostellifera is the first within its genera to be recently identified as having anti-cancer properties that can be used in biomedical science (Feussner et al. 2012; Tabudravu and Jaspars 2001). Additionally, current molecular studies still have much to reveal about the genera’s evolutionary history (Cárdenas et al. 2010). These advances in science are rapidly on the rise to answer questions of this cryptic species. G. globostellifera may not be the most attractive animal, but it certainly has the most potential of them all.
Figure 1

Physical Description


General Appearance