We might think of sponges as bathroom objects but the living animals are far more interesting. They come in all shapes and sizes, occur in all oceans of the world and have amazing lives.
This guide introduces naturalists, divers and biologists to sponge species commonly encountered in southern Australia – their identification, biology, defences and associations with other animals. Species descriptions are accompanied by colour photographs, line drawings and illustrations to aid recognition.
Sponges have lived in our oceans for 600 million years. Ancient forms built reefs bigger than the Great Barrier Reef. Today, sponges help clean our oceans, are experts at chemical warfare and can rebuild themselves after being torn apart. Some even live for 2000 years.
Museum Victoria field guide series
Sponges is part of the Museum Victoria field guide series. Each guide in the series features common animals and covers a different group of marine life. Many of the species can be found in shallow waters, on shores and reefs on the coastline of Australia and beyond.
Lisa is currently self-employed as a consultant sponge taxonomist providing identifications of sponges for researchers in fields such as biodiversity, environmental impact studies and marine natural product discovery.
Dr Mark Norman
Dr Mark Norman is Head of Sciences at Museum Victoria. His primary research interest is cephalopods – octopuses, squids, cuttlefish and nautiluses. Mark has published field guides on cephalopods and marine invertebrates and children’s books on natural history. He has participated in numerous natural history documentaries.
Dr Julian Finn
Dr Julian Finn is a Senior Curator of Marine Invertebrates at Museum Victoria and has years of experience in marine invertebrate research (primarily studying cephalopods). Julian has worked as a freelance cameraman and scientific consultant on over 30 international documentaries, shooting stories in diverse locations including Japan, Indonesia and Mexico.