New glass sponge discovered by Victoria researchers

The new species of sponge was collected on Bowie Seamount, a submarine volcano 180 kilometres west of Haida Gwaii

  • Mar. 3, 2015 6:00 p.m.

A new species of marine glass sponge was given a special name after being discovered by experts from the Royal B.C. Museum.

Dr. Henry Reiswig, a leading world expert in glass sponges, named the discovery after his now-deceased friend and colleague, Dustin Chivers, who saved his life diving in 1962.

The then 20-year-old Reiswig blacked out while diving off the Californian coast. Chivers carried him to the surface and got him to a hospital in time to save his life.

“Everything I’ve produced so far has been a result of this guy saving my life, as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

The new species of sponge was collected on Bowie Seamount, a submarine volcano 180 kilometres west of Haida Gwaii, by a marine research group as part of a Fisheries and Oceans Canada project in summer of 2014.

Dr. Melissa Frey, curator of invertebrates at the Royal B.C. museum, has been studying glass sponges under the guidance of Reiswig. She soon realized something was off about the new sample.

“I gave the specimen to Henry, and after closely examining the sponge’s spicules he confirmed it new to science. It wasn’t anything I’d ever seen before,” said Frey.


Reiswig, who retired from McGill University’s biology department in 2001, has already made more than 100 different discoveries in his field.



Just Posted

Esquimalt café cooks up connections for all abilities

A Kinder Cup focuses on positivity, inclusivity and connection

Free bike exchange program available to Greater Victoria kids

The Re-Buy-Cycle Shop in Langford offers free bikes for young learners

Central Saanich sparks up new opening burning bylaw

New bylaw offers ‘balanced approach’ between status quo and tougher provincial regulations

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

PHOTOS: Hundreds gather in downtown Victoria for Extinction Rebellion climate protest

The rally is the kickoff to the Global Climate Strike Week of Action

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Area 51 events mostly peaceful; thousands in Nevada desert

Three more people were arrested Friday on the remote once-secret military base

B.C. First Nation signs agreement to return its land on Vancouver Island

The land on the east coast of Vancouver Island will be returned to the We Wai Kai Nation

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

Most Read