Question

Compare and contrast the feeding process of a sponge with that of an earthworm. How are their feeding processes similar? How are they different?

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Sponges are feeding by filtration. They eat single-celled organisms by filtering these organisms from the water moving through them. The collar cells that line the central cavity trap the tiny organisms, and jelly-like cells inside the sponge digest the food.

Earthworms have a one-way digestive system with two openings (as well as roundworms). They eat leaves and other decaying matter in the soil. Food enters at the mouth, digests in the digestive tube and exits through the anus. There is a one-way flow of food through the earthworm's system. As the food moves down the earthworm’s digestive tract the various steps of digestion are performed one after another in different regions.

Even though the digestive structures of sponge are much less complex than the earthworm, the sponge is as capable of digesting and absorbing its food as the earthworm.

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