Baikal Sponge. User's Manual

Uploaded by videodiverru on 09.11.2011

Everybody knows sponge.
There is nothing special in it.
If you wish to clean or wash something, sponge is the best.
But this is artificial, synthetic sponge.
We'll tell you about the sponge that cannot be used for dish washing.
This sponge cleans the huge lake and makes it the cleanest in the world.
Finish your housekeeping, seat comfortably and watch.
Baikal sponge. User's manual.
To see Baikal sponge is easy: you just dive into the clear waters of lake Baikal.
All this green stuff on the bottom are sponges.
There are about 10 species of sponge in the lake but it looks like several hundreds.
Same as two equal people you never find two equal sponges.
At least by their shape.
It grows on every hard surface it can find.
But basically it grows on stones and rocks.
But it does not grow it lives!
The thing is that the sponge is an animal.
Not like a wolf or a bear. It is primitive and poorly organized but an animal.
Even the science admitted it quite recently - only about two hundred years
It cannot walk, no head or legs, all is green. It's a plant, what else?
That's right, but ...
Do you know plants that have a skeleton?
If you look inside the sponge you'll see it.
And with the electron microscope you can see its structure.
Instead of bones sponge has silicon needles called spicula.
Spiculas are unique.
Only their shape can help to identify the sponge specie.
Connecting to each other spiculas form the skeleton of the sponge.
The skeleton helps to keep the shape.
Sponge cannot move, but its role in lake's ecosystem huge.
Sponges filter baikal waters.
Even a small one can filter 30 liters of water during a day.
Sometimes sponges are nearly 2 m high and widely spread in the lake.
May be because of sponge Baikal has world famous clear waters.
The green color also does not prove the plant origin of the sponge.
In the dark sponges live without green color.
Micro algae zoochlorella lives in the sponge.
It gives the sponge green color.
Algae live only in a light zone.
The process of photosynthesis goes here in a full speed.
The plant gives O2 to sponge and gets CO2 in exchange.
A good example of symbiosis.
There are others that has an agreement with sponge.
Green brunches of sponges are great site.
Sponges are refuge, food or protection.
Nearly all the time this unusual creatures are found here.
These crustaceans are called spinocantus.
They have excellent tools to find and eat.
Sponge is a great food supplier.
Not all the eatable particles can be filtered.
Many stay on the sponge and block its pores.
And then the cleaning service comes to help.
No eatable thing will be missed.
That's what the sponge needs.
If the crustaceans are far away it is not a problem.
There are others who can help.
They are not so quick but do the work very well.
More then a half of baikal fishes are sculpins.
Many of them use sponge as a refuge.
Some even can change color to become invisible.
But even now try to find the fish among brunches.
Baikal waters get cold only in mid winter.
At this time even the South of the lake starts freezing.
In February ice thickness may reach 1m.
This time is very important for sponge life.
The special cells developed in their bodies.
Now they turned into moving larvae.
They came up to the sponge surface.
Ready to start their own journey.
As usually someone must be the first.
Soon millions of them leave the sponge bodies.
They depend on water current.
But they have their own organs of movement - flagellum.
And they use it all their larvae life.
Soon they'll stop on some stone and stay there forever.
New sponges will grow; they will get helpers and dwellers...
...and will start endless process of filtering Baikal waters.
So do you still think the sponge is a plant?
But it is not so important who you are: plant, animal or something else.
The important thing is that you exist and somebody else exists nearby.
And finally, you cannot survive without each other.
And you must live and help to each other and always remember:
all in the world, sponges, animals, birds, fishes, plants and crustaceans...
are involved in one process that has a simple name:
So who said the sponge is for washing?