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Phylum Porifera are commonly referred to as sponges. An early branching event in the history of animals separated the sponges from other metazoans. As one would expect based on their phylogenetic position, fossil sponges are among the oldest known animal fossils, dating from the Late Precambrian. Since then, sponges have been conspicuous members of many fossil communities; the number of described fossil genera exceeds 900. The approximately 5,000 living sponge species are classified in the phylum Porifera, which is composed of three distinct groups, the Hexactinellida (glass sponges), the Demospongia, and the Calcarea (calcareous sponges).
The skeletal architecture，including spicule shape and size， represents the basic trait utilized in sponge taxonomy. In particular, in the groups in which siliceous spicules have a homogeneous morphology, their size represents the main useful character for species identification. Nevertheless, it has been demonstrated that, even in the same species, spicule dimensions are not constant, since seasonal variations, due to both water temperature and silica concentration, have been recorded. Similarly, there is compelling evidence that sponge silica contend also varies according to the season.
The lake Spongilla laustris Auct. is a species of sponges from the family Spongillidae has the shape with flat thin layer and compact structure, clear radial fibers and intact spicules. The skeletal architecture of lake Spongilla laustris Auct. is generally is cylindrical and spindle-shaped or slightly curved, spicule is smooth and pointed at both ends (Amphioxea), arranged confused and disorderly, they form networks across tissues in the body.
For morphometric analysis of the spicule size, sponge samples were cleaned of tissue by boilingthem in 65% nitric acid, washed repeatedly in distilled water and alcohol, and gently agitated to suspend spicules. Thereafter, the spicule suspension was spread over a microscope slide and evaporated to dryness. The average monthly length and width of oxeas were calculated by measuring 50 andomly selected spicules from each slide.
Lake Spongilla laustris Auct
The lake Spongilla laustris Auct (Image A): Megascleres are quite stout, straight or feebly curved entirely smooth oxeas (133-296 x 9.4–14 μm). Microscleres are absent. Gemmuloscleres resemble megascleres but are much smaller in size, slender and as a rule slightly curved and smooth oxeas (114–179 x 4–7 μm) (Image A). Gemmules (Image B–D): Abundant and were scattered singly throughout the skeleton of the sponge. These were unevenly distributed; densely towards the substratum and sparsely elsewhere. These are sub-spherical and are found in a variety of sizes. Gemmuloscleres are horizontally or tangentially arranged on the periphery of the thick multilayered pneumatic layer (Images C&D). It was describe the foramen to be surrounded by a crater like depression. We did not observe any depression in our fresh material, so it could simply be due to artefacts occurring during preservation. Annandale (1911) finds apt resemblance between the shapes of the foraminal tube and an inverted bottle (Images B&D).
Interestingly, present observations shown very clearly that the spicules from the Lake Spongilla laustris is the best choice for the resource raw material of SQT® Spongilla Spicule 2.0.
The selection for New Spongilla Lacustris Breeding Base was carried out by the SQT specialist team as per SQT® Quality Control and Appraisal System （SQCAS）evaluated all crucial points in Hunan.
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