An example of a trail left by sponges as they crawl across the seafloor. (Image credit: AWI OFOBS team, PS101) Scientists have recorded the first evidence of deep-sea sponges crawling around on the seafloor, after snapping photos of bizarre brown tracks left behind by the surprisingly mobile creatures in the Arctic . Sponges are one of the oldest animal groups found on Earth , dating back around 600 million years to the Precambrian period . Scientists had long assumed that these colonial animals — which form dense, yet porous, skeletons on the seafloor — were sedentary and incapable of moving around, although some encrusting sponges that grow around rocks achieve limited mobility by remodeling their bodies in a sliding fashion. In 2016, a group of researchers onboard the icebreaker research vessel Polarstern used towed cameras to capture video footage of the seafloor at Langseth Ridge — a poorly studied region of the Arctic Ocean that’s permanently covered in sea ice — at a depth of between 2,300 and 3,300 feet (700 to 1,000 meters). There, they discovered one of the most densely populated groups of sponges ever seen. They also spotted several unusual brown trails following behind the invertebrates, […]


  1. Well that says quite a bit about them…if they can leave a mark under water. Kind of like what a dog does across the floor.

    • Haha. Not sure if it is the exact same thing, but definitely an interesting phenomenon. It’s very cool that we are still finding out things about the world under the sea.


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