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Rocky Shore Trail
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Rocky Shores | Rocky Shore Creatures

Purse Sponge (Grantia compressa)

Purse Sponge (Grantia compressa)

This is not like the Bread Crumb Sponge, an asymmetrical mass sprawled over the rocks. The Purse Sponge is a delicate little "bag" attached usually to seaweed although they will attach to rock under Serrated Wrack in the lower shore. They are flattened with a single osculum at the apex

The hole at the apex of the purse, the osculum, passes water and waste out; fresh seawater with plankton and detritus is absorbed through the surface of the sponge. It is very sensitive to desiccation and so is found only on the lower shore under the wracks.

Abundant on most rocky shores in Europe in the lower shore attached to algae, usually red, as well as rocks. Distribution includes the Mediterranean.


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