What is Porifera?

Porifera meaning an animal phylum that contains the sponges. They are the most primitive of the multicellular animals. Sponges assume many sessile body forms, such as finger, branching, bushy, spherical, tubular, vase and tube-like, encrusting, amorphous and massive. Some bore into coral and mollusk shells. Many of the 5,000 species are colorful and prominent inhabitants of coral reefs

Image of a barrel sponge (Porifera)
A barrel sponge (Porifera). (Photo: Dr. Anthony Picciolo)


reference: Coral Reef Information System – Glossary