Stromatoporoids / rough sponges
Stromatoporoid with elongated strata
Earlton (Ontario) - Donated by Paul Copper
Stromatoporoids with buds
Ïle Mann (Québec) - Collection Historical society of Témiscamingue
SPONGES WITH SKELETON
First Period of Appearance
Stromatopoids appeared about 540 million years ago, and they almost went extinct 360 million years ago. Only the sclerosponge, a derived form, has survived.
The stromatoporoids, whose Greek name means bed with holes, are organisms with a layered structure, punched with perpendicular canals. They grew a calcareous external skeleton that was massive.
Just like their related descendants, current soft body sponge, they do not have any organs. The food is transported by openings and canals toward digestive individual cells. Other cells will distribute also in such an individual manner, the nutrients.
460 to 420 millions years ago, reef had more than corals. Stromatoporoids, ancient corals, and stromatolites forms reefs that could stretch out on more than 1000 km such as the on in the Appalachians mountains in Gaspésie which dates from that period.
Témiscamingue offers many sites with exclusive reef environment composed of corals and stromatoporoids where it is possible to go in excursion to admire that ancient tropical environment and collect a few specimens.