Toxicity in Sponges and Holothurians: A Geographic Pattern

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Science  13 Sep 1974:
Vol. 185, Issue 4155, pp. 951-953
DOI: 10.1126/science.185.4155.951


Toxicity in sponges and holothurians is inversely related to latitude and may reach 100 percent for holothurians in high-diversity coral reefs. Evidence from approximately 700 experiments and from underwater observations suggests that predation by fish has resulted in natural selection for noxious and toxic chemical compounds in species within these taxa.