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Invertebrates
Oceans
Sponges



Sponges
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.79

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    belong-phylum, diffusion, multicellular, osculum, sexes-a, truckload, unaided, well-adapted, asexual, sexual, fertilization, nonmoving, symmetry, internal, protists, sperm


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Sponges
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     Sponges are the simplest multicellular animals. They lack true tissues. They have no muscles, nerves, or internal organs.
 
2     Sponges live all over the world. Most of them live in oceans, but some can be found in freshwater lakes and rivers. Sponges are attached to hard surfaces underwater. They are well-adapted to their watery life. Moving water currents carry food and oxygen to them and take away the sponges' waste products.
 
3     Sponges don't look or act like most animals. In fact, they are so different that people used to think they were plants. Like plants, adult sponges stay in one place. But unlike plants, sponges must take food into their bodies to live. They can not make their own food like plants do. This puts them into the same kingdom as animals. These strange animals have been on Earth for about 540 million years.
 
4     The bodies of most sponges have irregular shapes. Most of them have no symmetry. Although some of their cells do specialized jobs, sponges lack tissues and organs. Hundreds of pores, many of them too small to be seen by the unaided eye, dot the surface of a sponge's body. In fact, the name of the group to which sponges belong-phylum Porifera-means "having pores."
 
5     Because moving water carries food and removes wastes, it is the key to the sponge's survival. Water enters the small pores throughout the sponge's body. Then it flows into a central cavity. Water leaves the sponge through the osculum, a large opening. The water carries wastes away from the sponge. After reproduction, water also carries the microscopic young sponges away from the parent sponge.

Paragraphs 6 to 12:
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Invertebrates
             Invertebrates


Oceans
             Oceans



Animals
    Amphibians  
 
    Birds  
 
    Deserts  
 
    Fish  
 
    Freshwater  
 
    Grasslands  
 
    Insects  
 
 
    Invertebrates  
 
    Mammals  
 
    Oceans  
 
    Polar Regions  
 
    Rain Forest  
 
    Reptiles  
 


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