New illustrated catalogue of sponge spicules
Sponges (Porifera) are a diverse and globally distributed group of benthic organisms, that are subjects of intense studies in many fields, including paleontology, evolutionary biology, and even bioengineering and pharmacology. Their skeletons are mostly characterized by the presence of mineral elements termed spicules. The description of the spicules‘ shape and the skeleton organization represents the fundamental basis of sponge taxonomy and systematics. Here, we provide an illustrated catalogue of sponge spicules, which is based on previous works on sponge spicules and gathers and updates all terms that are currently used in sponge descriptions. Each spicule type is further illustrated through high quality scanning electron microscope micrographs.