That sponges may be the missing link in nutrient cycling on coral reefs! A recent study on Curaçao has shown that sponges commonly found on coral reefs take up dissolved organic matter which they then use for rapid cell division. Based on the amount of carbon that they take up, the sponges would be expected to double in size every three days! However, the sponges barely grow at all. This is because once the sponge’s cells divide, the sponge sheds the old cells as waste, which can then be ingested by other organisms on coral reefs. This means that sponges could help answer the question of how coral reef ecosystems are so productive in nutrient poor water! Since it is predicted by some scientist that sponges may dominate reefs in the future, it is important to determine their role in what are now coral reef ecosystems.