Scypha, also known as sycon, is a genus of marine sponges belonging to the class Calcarea hence referred to as calcareous sponges that are distinguished by the syconoid form of structure, which has a fingerlike body shape. Each "finger," known as a radial canal, in syconoid sponges is perforated by many tiny pores through which water passes into a single central cavity. At the tip, the water exits through an oscule, or wider opening. Scypha or sycon as formerly known is a more complex type than Leucosolenia since Leucosolenia is a primitive asconoid type with no folding in its body wall, while Scypha's body wall is folded and therefore its spongocoel is comparatively smaller. The organisation of such sponges differs greatly due to different degrees of folding in the body wall. Let us delve deeper into this Calcarea class species and learn more about the habitat, features and its mechanism.
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Habitat and Features of Scypha
Scypha, also known as crown sponge, is a small marine sponge that attaches itself to submerged solid objects such as rocks, mollusc shells, and corals with a sticky secretion.
It can be found in shallow water up to 50 fathoms (1 fathom = 6 feet), where waves provide plenty of food and well-oxygenated water.
It's a branching colonial sponge, but there are also solitary individuals.
Scypha is widespread and abundant near the coasts of the North Atlantic. Scypha ciliatum, S. elegans, S. coronata, S. lingua, S. gelatinosum, and S. Raphanus are the various Sycon types.
Scypha species grow only about just 2 to 3 cm (approximately 1 inch) long in their lifetime.
Scypha is a vase-shaped plant with a length of 2.5 to 7.5 cm.
It is made up of several cylinders that are connected at the base and attached to some submerged solid object in the sea by a sticky secretion.
The sycon is a light brown or grey colour sponge with each cylinder's distal or free end has a single wide opening called the osculum or exhalent or excurrent pore.
The osculum is surrounded by an upstanding collar of long monaxon spicules known as the oscular fringe, which resembles a crown, hence the name crown sponge.
The fringes stop other species from entering the sponge. A short, narrow collar region exists beneath the osculum.
A thin dermal epithelium or ectoderm covers the sponge's body on the outside. The surface of a cylinder has polygonal elevations, depressed lines between the elevations, and groups of Ostia (inhalant or incurrent pores) in the depressions. These are not intracellular apertures as in Leucosolenia, but rather intercellular apertures.
A spongocoel or para gastric cavity, which is not a digestive cavity, is located within each cylinder. Since the amount of mesogloea in the cylinder has increased, the wall has folded to form two types of canals: incurrent canals and radial canals, which run alternately and radially around the spongocoel. However, Ostia and canals are absent from the collar and basal regions.
Canal System of Sycon
The Scypha possesses an advanced canal system that carries out the necessary metabolic activities for it to thrive called the syconoid type while many possess a primal level asconoid canal system.
Skeleton System of Scypha
Scypha's skeleton is made up of calcareous spicules. Spicules, also known as sclerites, are definite bodies with a crystalline appearance that are made up of simple spines or spines radiating from a point. They have an organic axis around which an inorganic substance, such as calcium carbonate or hydrated silica, is deposited. Spicules come in a wide range of shapes.
Some Varieties are as Follows-
The osculum is surrounded by a circle of large one-rayed needle-like monaxon spicules.
Simple spear-like monaxon spicules protrude from the dermal cortex opposite the radial canals' outer ends.
The radial canals have three rayed or triaxon spicules with one end pointing towards the distal ends of the canals.
In the dense gastral cortex covering the spongocoel, there are four rayed or tetraxon spicules, as well as triaxon spicules. The monaxon spicules in Scypha's body are needle-like or spear-like and project from the body surface, while the triradiate spicules are embedded within, creating a network.
The monaxon spicules project in masses from the polygonal elevations on the outer surface, partially concealing and protecting the Ostia; each group of these spicules is referred to as oxeote spicules.
Mechanism of the Metabolic Activities in Calcarea Class of Scypha
Interesting and Fun Facts About Scypha and Sea Sponges
Sea sponges are not plants or corals, but rather animals.
They've been around for over 600 million years in our oceans.
In the world's oceans, there are more than 8,000 recognised species of sea sponges, with more being discovered every year.
Porifera is a phylum of animals that includes them.
They remain firmly attached to a rigid surface under the water and do not move.
It has the capacity to hold 16,000 other species.
One of the world's largest sponges was nearly 10 feet wide.
When a sponge is strained through a cloth, it takes on a new shape on the other side.
Sponges lack lungs and other such specific organs systems and instead rely on specialised cells to carry out all of their functions.
When a piece of a sponge breaks off, it becomes a whole new sponge.
Each sponge has pores that filter water for food and oxygen, as well as pores that force waste out.
Since certain species emit toxins, sea sponges have few predators except sea turtles and fish.
Hermaphrodites, or sea sponges, have several genitals. At various times, sponges contain eggs and sperm cells.
Sea sponges spread across the marine sponge population in this manner. In reality, the lifespan of a sea sponge is about ten years. Both forms of sea sponges will own this lifetime if humans do not harvest them.
Secondary metabolism is a one-way system that keeps an organism alive. Predatory attacks are also avoided and resisted using this approach. It can also protect against bacterial infections and UV light.