Some of these creatures have been estimated to be over 2,400 years of age. POPULATION ECOLOGY. Sponges. There is great variability in their size: some sponges are very small (just a few centimeters) while others are very big, like the giant barrel sponge, which can be six feet wide. The giant barrel sponge, though living as a solitary sponge as seen Size: 2 to 6 ft. (60 cm to 1.8 m) Depth: 50-130 ft. (15-40 m) Distribution: Caribbean, Bahamas, Florida. Barrel sponge recruitment might be low and sporadic given the small adult population size and limited connectivity 28. Also known as Giant Barrel Sponge, Great Vase Sponge, Marine Sponge, Siliceous Sponge, Volcano Sponge. Found singly or in small colonies over reef faces and flats of coral and rocky reefs. The giant barrel sponges is often referred to as the redwood of the sea because it can live up to 2,000 years and also because of its giant size and sometimes reddish color. The largest known species of sea sponge is the giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta. Even sponges of the same species can vary greatly in size—but why? Dark Volcano Sponge. Giant Barrel Sponge. Giant Barrel Sponge. Giant Barrel Sponge has shades of gray color, brown, red brown or rose purple color. The giant barrel sponge is one of the largest species of sponges found in the Caribbean. Calcareous sponges Various critters can often be found resting inside these sponges. The Giant Barrel Sponge (Xestospongia muta ) is a common sighting on Caribbean reefs, but few divers realize just how ancient these fascinating animals can be.They stand out on the reef with their deep reddish color and are found in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes. Brown Encrusting Octopus Sponge. It is also known as Xestospongia Muta and it has brittle, incompressible, and easy to break consistency. Orange Lumpy Encrusting Sponge. Xestospongia rosariensis. It is brown-grey to reddish in colour, with a hard or stony texture. Xestospongia muta, commonly known as the giant barrel sponge, a member of the Xestospongia genus, is one of the largest species of sponge found in the Caribbean.It grows at depths from 10 meters down to 120 metres (390 ft), and can reach a diameter of 1.8 metres (6 feet). The giant barrel sponge is considered to be on the second trophic level, meaning that it is a primary consumer since it consumes photosynthetic cyanobacteria, which are primary producers (McMurray et al., 2008). ... Its individual lobes are about 2 -3 cm in diameter and tubes size up to 4 cm high. 1).Sponge tissue for DNA extraction was immediately stored in absolute ethanol (98%) in a cool box. Variable Boring Sponge. Giant barrel sponges are actually animals, despite the fact that they grow fixed to the reef or the ocean bottom, giving us the impression that they are plants. After 6–12 h, the ethanol was changed and samples were stored at −20 °C. Giant barrel sponges (Xestospongia spp.) Common Sponges. were collected by SCUBA diving from 17 different locations (Table 1; Fig. They are impressive in their size and their presence in the underwater world, but the facts about them and their importance to the health of the reef and the ocean is truly surprising. Rough Tube Sponge. These massively built sponges can reach 2.4 m (8 ft) in height and can be about the same thickness at the thickest part of the "body". They feed on plankton. Length - 1.5m Depth - …