This large sponge in the Darwin Art Gallery and Museum reminds me of how prawn trawling decimated our SA gulfs soft bottom habitats and meadows: –

I also think about Smith Bay (on Kangaroo Island) and the huge old green coral colony* there, the survival of which has uncanny shades of the fate of this monster sponge.

The huge old green coral colony found in Smith Bay, Kangaroo Island

(Source: )

* (According to the AusOcean blog titled “AusOcean at Smith Bay, Kangaroo Island”, this “giant temperate coral of the species Plesiastrea versipora really stole the show. One specimen (shown below) was a whopping 6m in circumference and 2m tall.”)

The huge old green coral colony found in Smith Bay, Kangaroo Island

(Source: )

The sponge is huge, far bigger than any I’ve seen anywhere, temperate or tropical.

Information about the monster sponge in Darwin museum

(According to the AusOcean blog titled “How sponges are the unsung heroes of our oceans”, “sponges play a key role in holding reef ecosystems together and although they aren’t the usual stars of conservation campaigns they deserve some recognition.”)

The art gallery section of the museum is pretty impressive too.


By David Muirhead

David is a long-serving member of the Marine Life Society of South Australia. He has dived and snorkeled in South Australian waters for around five decades and has a particular interest in bony fishes. David has made the greatest single contribution to the society's Photo Index of local marine species.

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