They outlived dinosaurs, but can glass sponge reefs survive man-made warming?

Date: August 11, 2020

Source: Mongabay
Author: Francesca Edralin

When scientists first discovered glass sponge reefs in British Columbia’s waters in the late 1980s, they couldn’t have been more surprised. Prior to this, they believed that glass sponge reefs went extinct 40 million years ago.

“If you think of it, it’s like stumbling upon a whole herd of dinosaurs in our backyards,” says Angela Stevenson, a researcher based in British Columbia who studies glass sponges intensively.

Glass sponge reefs may have outlived the dinosaurs, but they may not survive much longer. In May, Stevenson and her colleagues published a study in Scientific Reports that warns that the impacts of climate change will likely weaken glass sponges’ skeletal strength and filter-feeding ability.

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