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December 10, 1892

THE INSURANCE SPONGE.

JAMA. 1892;XIX(24):705. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02420240027008

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Abstract

The sponge is an animal. That question is settled. The vegetarians have ceased to claim it. Like the vanquished party in the recent presidential contest, they surrendered reluctantly, but they surrendered.

"In its simplest form"—so the naturalists inform us—"the sponge is homologically a single animal with the internal structure and function of a colonial organization."

There are many varieties of sponge. The spongia equina is the horse sponge of the bath room. The spongia dura is the Hardhead found in America. The cup sponge and glove sponge are fine species used in surgery.

All these are marine varieties. "None of them seem to be truly parasitic—that is, capable of living upon the substance of other animals."

But there are land sponges. These also are single animals with the structure and function of organized colonies. Unlike the sea sponges, these land lubbers are truly and with emphasis parasitic—that is, they actually

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