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The Cucumber Sponge

The Cucumber Sponge image
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In tie cucumber spouge (Btipleotella ncumber) we have a specimen of one whicb lies upon the mud after the mamier of its namesake, which it somewhat resembles. Perhaps, however, the most beautiful of all these silicious sponges is Euplectella aspergillum, or, as it is comruonly called, Venus' flower basket. It is like a beautiful hora of glassy fibers or a graceful bouquet holder. The flrst specimen of this sponge in Ecgland came into the possession of the late Professor Owen in 1841. It was held by him as a great treasure. It was Boon followed by a few' more specimens, which were sold in the rnarket at abont L6 apiece, bat uow Uiat they have been fonnd to be so plentiful they ruay be bought for as many shillings. ïhese sponges were found by the Challenger expedition to be growing in vast abundance in certain spots in the deep waters among the Philippine islands and also off the coast of Brazil. "They live bnried in mud which is so soft and loose as not to crush them or in any way to irapede the assumption of their elegant form, and they are supported in their position and prevented from sinking by a fringe of glassy spicules. "The tube of this specimen from the Philippines. after the death of the eponge, is frequently inhabited by one, sometimes by a pair, of decapod crnstaceans. " He reminds one forcibly of the hermit crab we have all seen living in dead shells npon our own shores. "These," says the same author, "are so often found togetherthat only a few years ago a paper was written to show that this sponge was a wonderful habitation strucced by this crab. "■


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News