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Mar Environ Res 2014 Feb 01;93:123-32. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2013.07.010.
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Comparing dynamic connective tissue in echinoderms and sponges: morphological and mechanical aspects and environmental sensitivity.

Sugni M , Fassini D , Barbaglio A , Biressi A , Di Benedetto C , Tricarico S , Bonasoro F , Wilkie IC , Candia Carnevali MD .

Echinoderms and sponges share a unique feature that helps them face predators and other environmental pressures. They both possess collagenous tissues with adaptable viscoelastic properties. In terms of morphology these structures are typical connective tissues containing collagen fibrils, fibroblast- and fibroclast-like cells, as well as unusual components such as, in echinoderms, neurosecretory-like cells that receive motor innervation. The mechanisms underpinning the adaptability of these tissues are not completely understood. Biomechanical changes can lead to an abrupt increase in stiffness (increasing protection against predation) or to the detachment of body parts (in response to a predator or to adverse environmental conditions) that are regenerated. Apart from these advantages, the responsiveness of echinoderm and sponge collagenous tissues to ionic composition and temperature makes them potentially vulnerable to global environmental changes.

PubMed ID: 24008006
Article link: Mar Environ Res