from the specimen drawer

from the specimen drawer

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Spongey Goodness!

Dearest Fellow Marine Invertebrate Lovers,

I have returned from a long leave of absence from bloggery due to a combination of hard work, school, research and, most of all, extreme laziness.

My apologies and here are two new limericks I wrote in honor of the lowly but highly successful sponges- about half-a-billion years successful! Not too shabby for the animal kingdom. The members of this phylum are an excellent example of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

I am not going to expound on sponges as they are currently the center of my research (Cliona in particular- an excavating sponge) and I just don't want to talk about it. BUT if you have specific questions you would like to put forth to me regarding the Porifera, please do!

An animal? Completely ridiculous!
Just cells and sponge matrix quite spiculous.
No brain, heart, or gut!
No eyeballs! No butt!
Tis true though- the research? Meticulous!

This next one is dedicated to my friends in Australia for coming up with this great nickname for the boring sponges, a true bane to oyster, scallop and pearl farmers around the globe.

Ode to “Red Arse”
It’s so boring it ain’t even funny.
Can’t eat it and it ain’t worth no money.
“So this sponge has no charm?
What could be the harm?”
It digs right through my oyster shells, Honey!

I leave you with a lovely photo of Ocypode quadrata, the cute and square ghost crab. He (or she) was just trying to get down to the water to wet his gills and maybe grab a little snack when I interrupted his progress. He was mad. Tried to pinch me when I grabbed at him- go figure.

Photo copyright 2014 Heather Lynn Robertson (Stoker)
Stay tuned next week (or so), for a new category "Qu'est-ce que c'est?" where I post a picture of a whole or part of an invertebrate and you try to guess what it is! Maybe there will be a prize of little or no value involved. How enticing!



  1. Thanks, Heather, especially for the "red arse" limerick. I'm looking forward to your invertebrates - the only ones in Oz I can think of at present are spineless politicians, and I'm sure that yours will be much more interesting!

    1. Ooh, we have those spineless types here too! Lots of them! (I might add gutless- like a sea cucumber after it has self-eviscerated (got a post on that under "That's gross (but cool)"). Anyway, Glad you liked the limerick. And Australia, I am 100% certain, has many more amazing and interesting invertebrates than can be found on our southeast coast of U.S. You have rocky tide-pools and some little reef system, I think?

  2. Welcome back to blogging, Heather, after a break of almost 4 years.