Difference Between Sponge and Coral

Sponges are known to survive in freshwater, but they also have characteristics to survive in sea salt water or shallow water with a great depth.

Corals are known to have identical features as polyps that are multicellular organisms but are considered as single organisms.

Comparison Table Between Sponge and Coral

Parameter of ComparisonSpongeCoral 
Phylum Sponges belong to the Porifera phylum. Coral belongs to the Cnidaria phylum. 
HabitatFound in a very deep shallow sea. Less likely to be found in the very deep sea. 
Survival Protection They protect themselves using toxins. They protect themselves using their tentacles. 
Calcium CarbonateThey do not secrete calcium carbonate. They secrete calcium carbonate for coral reefs. 
Structure The structure appears like plants with pores. The structure of their body is sac-like. 

What is Sponge?

Sponges are a type of marine invertebrates but lack tissues and organs such as the nervous system, digestive system, respiratory system, unlike many other marina habitat animals.

The shape of sponges is very adaptive and are built differently to maximize the water flow efficiency in their body. Their build-up comprises two layers of cells.

As said, Sponges have numerous pores for the water flow in their body that carries food and oxygen, and those pores are exclusively lined with flagella (cells).

What is Coral?

Corals stand with a difference from sponges in their anatomy, reproduction, and other body functions. Their body structure is built differently and is more complex compared to sponges. 

Their species belong to the Cnidaria phylum have identical features like anemones, but they can be of different types with a little touch of other distinctive characteristics.

These algae provide the necessary food for the corals that are produced by the algae through the process of photosynthesis.

Main Differences Between Sponge and Coral

  1. Sponges are usually found in the sea bed or ocean floor, sticking to hard rocks or other aquatic organisms, whereas Corals are generally found in the ocean in any tropical or subtropical areas. 
  2. Sponges feed on bacteria and other organic matters found in the ocean water, whereas most Corals require the energy of sunlight to grow and expand.
Difference Between Sponge and Coral


There are various distinctive reasons why Sponges and Corals differ despite being both part of animal phyla and an important part of marine invertebrates as organisms.

There are more than 8500 species of corals and coral reefs found across various ocean beds in the world, but sponges are usually categorized into five types to ease up the study and knowledge about them.

Their differences in growth, reproduction, digestion, and occurrence balance out the lives of other aquatic animals and plants and build green and clean seawater.


  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00301960
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/24333501
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