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Branches on the Tree of Life: The Biology of Sponges

14 minutes 52 seconds

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Still image from Branches on the Tree of Life: The Biology of Sponges

Part of the "Branches on the Tree of Life" series. Imagine an animal with no mouth, no digestive system, no excretory or circulatory organs, no brain nor nervous system, and no movement as an adult. In spite of their simple nature, sponges are actually one of the most interesting animal phyla when viewed in developmental, ecological, and evolutionary terms. Clarifies the structure, function, classification, and ecological roles of sponges through animations and time-lapse microscopy. Accessibility options on the DVD are: (1) expanded description, (2) English subtitles in a black box, (3) subtitled description.

Media Details

Runtime: 14 minutes 52 seconds

Illustration of plant structure. Caption: the photon's energy transfers to an electron.
Branches On The Tree of Life
Episode 1
14 minutes 1 seconds
Grade Level: 8 - 12
Sea floor with irregularly shaped white objects on it. Caption: composed almost entirely of hexactinellid sponges.
Branches On The Tree of Life
Episode 2
14 minutes 52 seconds
Grade Level: 8 - 12
Microscopic view of a transparent tube-shaped organism. Caption: an energy reserve the cell can draw on
Branches On The Tree of Life
Episode 3
20 minutes 4 seconds
Grade Level: 8 - 12
Tangle of thread-like substance. Caption: consisted of a nucleic acid core composed of either DNA or RNA
Branches On The Tree of Life
Episode 4
17 minutes 45 seconds
Grade Level: 8 - 12
Blurry microscopic view of an oval shaped object surrounded by green particles. Caption: In nature, these small organisms become links in food chains
Branches On The Tree of Life
Episode 4
17 minutes 19 seconds
Grade Level: 8 - 12
Straight line of light against a light blue background. Caption: in the 50-to-80-micrometer range.
Branches On The Tree of Life
Episode 5
19 minutes 31 seconds
Grade Level: 8 - 12
Closeup view of thin, light green tube-like structures growing off stone. Caption: and absorb the products of digestion,
Branches On The Tree of Life
Episode 6
21 minutes 20 seconds
Grade Level: 8 - 12
A cell being viewed under a microscope. Caption: you can clearly see many of the larger structures
Branches On The Tree of Life
Episode 7
17 minutes 33 seconds
Grade Level: 9 - 12
A sea anemone with a captured crab, surrounded by other plant life. Caption: Even a large crab can be digested within a few hours.
Branches On The Tree of Life
Episode 8
12 minutes 25 seconds
Grade Level: 8 - 12
Underwater plants with small fish swimming through them. Caption: Flatworms were around for a long time.
Branches On The Tree of Life
Episode 9
14 minutes 43 seconds
Grade Level: 8 - 12

Viewer Comments

  • Tiny default profile photo
    Victor M. (Long Beach, CA)
    May 20th, 2020 at 01:55 AM

    It’s a great app overall from the graphics, the videos are interesting and it’s just so easy to use. I’d recommend it to schools or students nationwide 😁

  • Tiny default profile photo
    Anonymous (Tucson, AZ)
    April 20th, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    Good intro to animal biology

  • Tiny default profile photo
    John C. (Tucson, AZ)
    April 16th, 2015 at 07:39 PM

    High interest