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Purse sponge

Sycon ciliatum

The vase-shaped sponge, Sycon ciliatum, can often be found attached to, or amongst other things, (for example, seaweed) on the lower intertidal shore. The beautiful crown of long spines around the osculum opening is thought to keep incoming and outgoing water separate and may protect the sponge against small predators.

S. ciliatum is a member of the class of sponges with spicules (a kind of skeleton) made of calcium carbonate, rather than silica.