Glass sponges

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Hexactinellida (Hyalospongea; phylum Porifera) A group of sponges that first appeared in the Cambrian. They are of normal sponge shape and have skeletal spicules consisting of opaline silica. Large spicules (megascleres) and small spicules (microscleres) are connected in various patterns, and this forms the basis for the classification of the group. They were common in the Palaeozoic but many forms disappeared in the Permian. They were again important in the Jurassic and Cretaceous, but are now confined to much deeper marine waters.

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Hexactinellida (Hyalospongea; phylum Porifera) A class of sponges whose skeleton is composed of mainly six-rayed, siliceous spicules. Organic fibres do not occur. The body has a leucon structure. They are marine, deep-water sponges and first appeared in the Lower Cambrian.

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