SO many shells, or parts of shells, that wash up on the beach are pocked-marked with dozens or even hundreds of tiny holes. Where did those holes come from?
Those tiny holes are just the start
Of an empty shell falling apart.
Do you wonder what’s to blame?
A “boring” sponge! Yes, That’s the name.
These sponges are not what you think,
Not like the one by the kitchen sink.
They start off small as small can be,
Filtering food from seawater, you see.
Once settled, these sponges cannot roam.
Those tiny holes — they are their homes.
Too many shells would be around
If boring sponges didn’t break them down.
If a coral reef gets crowded and sick,
Boring sponges settle in quick.
They soon tidy up the place,
Then new corals move into the space.
Too many sponges, that’s not best.
In oyster beds, they are a pest.
(Living oyster shells can crumble;
This makes oyster farmers grumble.)
It’s part of every shell’s life cycle:
Boring sponges do recycle.
So when you see those tiny holes,
It was boring sponges roles!