The above is a Chondrocladia lampadiglobus -- a Ping-Pong tree sponge, to us non-Latins -- and believe it or not, it is a carnivorous creature, according to Olivia Judson. Next time you're
20,000 leagues 1300 fathoms under the sea, look around.
Oh, and to her main point: next year (2010) will be the International Year of Biodiversity, and you should read her post for many reasons, but especially for the toast at the end.
(Above picture originally published in “The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss” by Claire Nouvian/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. It and several more equally amazing can be viewed in a slideshow.)