The breakup and collapse of the Larsen-A ice shelf in the Western
Weddell Sea in 1995 has resulted in fundamental changes to life
on the seabed. Glass sponges have been the prime beneficiaries of the disappearance of the ice shelf. The density of these archaic filter feeders has increased threefold between 2007 and 2011 despite only low plankton food supply and water temperatures of -2°C. The sponges have grown remarkably quickly and completely supplanted competitors for food.