Orange elephant ear sponge

Orange elephant ear sponge
Phylum Porifera (sponges)
Agelas clathrodes
61 to 100+ ft
This brilliant orange sponge is unmistakable. Its shape and size can vary, but the orange color and rubbery texture are always the same. It commonly grows from the sides of walls or coral heads into large ear-like structures that can measure 6 feet across (2 m), giving it the name "elephant ear". However, it will also grow as an encrusting sponge, forming a thin layer over dead coral, wreckage or other substrates. The orange elephant ear sponge is common throughout Caribbean, becoming abundant in some areas. It inhabits coral reefs and drop-offs, preferring quiet areas with dim light. It is common in canyons and ravines along the walls of all of the Cayman Islands.

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