Feared to be globally extinct, the discovery of this fabulous sponge is featured in the latest issue of My Green Space published by NParks.
Karenne and Eugene share that " the Neptune’s Cup sponge was first seen in Singapore waters in 1822. According to historical records, the Neptune’s Cup sponge was common during the time of Sir Stamford Raffles, An account by a British official in 1830 said “those gigantic sponges” were brought to them “in great numbers.” However, the Neptune’s Cup sponge population declined rapidly in our waters, and was last sighted in the 1870s. It seemed to also have disappeared from other coastal waters too – it was last collected off Bantam in West Java, Indonesia, in 1908. This led many scientists to believe that sponge had become extinct globally."
How exciting then, that "in March 2011, during a routine survey dive, marine biologists from DHI Water & Environment (S) Pte Ltd encountered a unique-looking sponge off Singapore’s southern islands. It was later identified by Singapore’s sponge expert, Mr Lim Swee Cheng, as a young Neptune’s Cup sponge."
This is one of the old photos of the awesome sponge that fires the imagination and search for it in our waters!
My Green Space!
This edition of My Green Space also has an article by Lee Yen-Ling about the recent Sea Anemone Workshop conducted by Dr Daphne Fautin.
Yen-Ling's article sure brings back memories of the last Anemone Hunts!
There's so much more to discover about Singapore's marine life!!
More about Singapore sponges and sea anemones on the wild fact sheets.
See also 'Extinct' sponge back from the dead by Grace Chua Straits Times 16 Nov 11;