Timelapse footage shows a sea sponge sneezing – video

It has emerged that sea sponges can sneeze, casting off accumulations of particles trapped in mucus on their surfaces in the process.

Dr Jasper de Goeij, a marine biologist at the University of Amsterdam and the senior author of the paper, said the team made their discovery while examining timelapse videos of sponges in an effort to understand how the creatures poo.

Writing in the journal Current Biology, De Goeij and colleagues report how they found the Caribbean tube sponge Aplysina archeri had a constant stream of mucus flowing out of its pores against the feeding current – not unlike a runny nose – carrying particles with it.

The team say this mucus forms highways across the sponge, intercepting and moving particles on the surface in the process, resulting in the formation of clumps. When the sponge sneezes, this particle-rich mucus is ejected into the surroundings

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