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They are more-or-less cup-shaped animals, ranging from 10 to 30 centimetres (3.9 to 11.8 in) in height, with sturdy lattice-like internal skeletons made up of fused spicules of silica. The body is relatively symmetrical, with a large central cavity that, in many species, opens to the outside through a sieve formed from the skeleton. Some species of glass sponges are capable of fusing together to create reefs or bioherms. They are generally pale in colour, ranging from white to orange. Much of the body is composed of syncitial tissue, extensive regions of multinucleate cytoplasm. In particular, the epidermal cells characteristic of other sponges are absent, being replaced by a syncitial net of amoebocytes, through which the spicules penetrate. Unlike other sponges, they do not possess the ability to contract.
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