This magnificent and beautiful specimen is located in the second largest showcase dedicated to the support mechanisms of the animals within the area of ??”the Earth today”.
The internal skeleton of this sponge from the western Pacific is made up of extremely nested siliceous spicules that give it a great resistance to support the pressure found at the bottom of the sea. It lives at great depth (from 40 to 100 m down) and is one of the best-known sponge species due to the great architecture of its skeleton and because its interior is inhabited by small crabs (Spongicola japonica) that get into it during their larva phase. Therefore, they are symbionts of the sponge.
They were described in 1841 by Sir Richard Owen.