Check out the size of that sponge!
Seriously, its a sponge, aptly named the “Giant barrel”. But as awesome as this sponge is to look at, its not so awesome if your a coral. Research by Joe Pawlik and colleagues released this week suggests that overfishing of fish that love to tuck in to a bit of sponge means sponges are taking over on some coral reefs. There’s a nice overview of the paper or alternatively if you fancy reading the paper yourself you can – it’s open access!
Image: The giant barrel sponge taken by the paper author Joe Pawlik, UNC