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Photographic gallery.  Thousands of particles under the microscope.
Silica Sponge Spicule

Silica Sponge Spicule

This is from a tapelift collected in a home near Sacramento, California. The sponge spicule is near the center of the image with its base nearly touching the 200 micrometer bar. The hollow tube down the center and the isotropy are typical of silica sponge spicules.

Transmitted Off Crossed Circular Polarized Light Illumination


Significance in the Environment:

Characteristic Features:

Associated Particles:


Pennak, Robert W., FRESH-WATER INVERTEBRATES OF THE UNITED STATES, 2nd Ed., Wiley Interscience, pp. 80-98, 1978.
(Identification Key for Freshwater Sponge Spicules)

Wilding, L.P. and L. R. Drees, "Distribution and implications of sponge spicules in surficial deposits in Ohio", THE OHIO JOURNAL OF SCIENCE, vol. 68, no. 2, pp. 92-99, 1968.
(Transport Mechanisms for Spicules far from Lakes)

Kratz, T.K., K.E. Webster, C.J. Bowser, J.J. Magnuson, and B.J. Benson, "The influence of landscape position on lakes in northern Wisconsin", FRESHWATER BIOLOGY, vol. 37, pp209-217, 1997.
(Environmental Factors Favoring Production of Sponge Spicules)