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Porifera (Sponges)

  1. Patricia R Bergquist

Published Online: 19 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0001582



How to Cite

Bergquist, P. R. 2001. Porifera (Sponges). eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 19 APR 2001

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (8 DEC 2013)


Porifera, or sponges, are primitive Metazoa. They are multicellular but have no developed tissue organization, utilizing independent cellular activity to carry out all body functions. They are a successful group in ancient and recent aquatic environments with origins in pre-Cambrian times.


  • sponges;
  • cellular behaviour;
  • life histories;
  • diversity;
  • fossil history