Volume 5    Number 12

Azure Sponge Glows Pink and Purple
at Painted Wall Reef near Long Cay in Belize

Azure Sponge at Painted Wall Reef

Sponges are animals. The Azure Sponge in this picture gets its name from the color of the glow that outlines the ridges on its surface. Although this sponge is pink and purple, the edges of the sponge catch the light from the bright-blue water lit by the sun and glow a soft blue color. Azure is a fancy name for bright light blue.

Sponges catch prey called plankton. Plankton are tiny plants and animals that float in the ocean. Sponges pump water through their bodies and strain these plants and animals out of the water for food. The water comes out through an opening at the top of this Azure Sponge, which is shaped like a small chimney.

Notice all the colorful corals and sponges in the background. Directly above the Azure Sponge is a large Sea Fan. And to the right and behind the Azure Sponge are several Yellow Tube Sponges.

This Azure Sponge was about 10 inches tall. This picture was taken about 40 feet underwater, near the top of the underwater cliff known as Painted Wall Reef. You can see from all the colors how this reef got its name.

ReefNews photographer Jonathan Dowell took this photo using a Canon A2 camera with a 28-105 mm zoom lens in an Ikelite housing with an Ikelite strobe.



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