Scientists find new sponge species off La Jolla

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Updated: 4/15 1:48 pm

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Scientists using a remote-controlled robot submersible have discovered a new species of poisonous sponge in the deep waters off San Diego.

U-T San Diego reports researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute were studying bacteria when they came across the strange sponge just northwest of La Jolla, at a depth of 3,300 feet.

They describe it as a twig-like carnivore that is able to survive along the dark, frigid ocean floor. It is similar to three other sponge species found along the U.S. West Coast and Baja California.

The institute says scientists first discovered that some sponges are carnivorous 20 years ago. Since then only seven carnivorous species have been found in all of the northeastern Pacific.


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