So… it’s a FLESH-EATING Sponge that looks lượt thích a tree that looks lượt thích it’s covered in ping-pong balls?
O. K. Yet again we find that the deep sea provides a surprising legitimacy to lớn all kinds of madness.
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No doubt Elvis is doing battle with the risen Hitler down there, too.
The Ping-pong Tree Sponge reaches around 50 cm (20 in) in height, most of this composed of a thin stalk.
At its đứng top is a peculiar array of ethereal globules at the kết thúc of stems emanating from a central body.
It looks like some kind of gelatinous explosion that just sort of… stopped.
As explosions go, it looks like one of the more comfortable ones.
But those blobs are nowhere near as soft or spectral as they seem.
This is where we get to lớn the FLESH EATING.
The swellings are covered in spicules, the tiny structures that khung the skeleton of a Sponge.
In this case they are hook shaped. Any little crustaceans that touch them are trapped, the bristly hairs on their body caught on the hooks like velcro.
Slowly, ever so slowly, cells in the Ping-pong Tree Sponge move toward the struggling prey lớn begin digestion.
Each cell acts lượt thích an Amoeba, using phagocytosis to consume a tiny fragment of the doomed victim.
Sponges usually do this kind of thing lớn bacteria, things small enough to be eaten whole. Carnivorous Sponges use it on much larger fare.
Bit by bit, the Ping-pong Tree Sponge digests its food.
Without a stomach or any other kind of digestive cavity, the prostrated wretch melts away on a translucent wiff-waff ball.
It’s this slow-motion horror show that allows this Sponge to lớn flourish in the deserts of the deep.
As far as I can make out, they are found in the Pacific Ocean at depths of around 2,700 metres (8,860 ft).
In any case, I thought ping-pong was meant khổng lồ be more fun than that?
Ref: factslegend, wikipedia, realmonstrosities, hoopmanscience, semanticscholar, alchetronPic: realmonstrosities, pinterest, The Doctor, jncc, hoopmanscience, Christopher Mah, MBARI, deepseafauna, reddit, deviantart, musculuscomplexio, dfo-mpo, oceanexplorer, semanticscholar, chess.myspecies, deviantart, scitechdaily, Deep Sea News, interactiveoceans, alchetron, nhm