Siphonia koenigi

Siphonia koenigi is named in honour of Charles Dietrich Eberhard Koenig who was Keeper in the Department of Natural History at the British Museum 1813–1851. He died on 29 August, 1851.

This sponge is often found as a fossil in the Chalk of England - a stratigraphical unit. Most specimens are preserved in flint nodules, making them one of the most common fossils found in southern England.

They are usually pear-shaped, and the preserved canal system is what many people find fascinating.

Species detail

  • Siphonia koenigi
    Taxonomy and biology

    This sponge fed by pumping water through internal canals and chambers inside its pear-shaped body. Find out more, including what gave Siphonia koenigi its shape.

  • Eroding chalk cliffs
    Distribution and conservation

    Siphonia koenigi lived in deep seas over 120 million years ago. Fossilised Siphonia koenigi is now commonly found in the chalk cliffs on the south coast of England.


Siphonia koenigi

Siphonia koenigi.

© Natural History Museum, London
Siphonia koenigi

Siphonia koenigi.

© R U Smith
Konig portrait

Charles Konig (1774–1851)

© Natural History Museum, London

About the author

Martin on fieldwork image
Dr Martin Munt

Collections manager in the Invertebrates and Plants Division, Earth Sciences department.

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Smith, A B and Batten, D J 2002. Fossils of the Chalk. Palaeontological Association Field Guide to Fossils. The Palaeontological Association. London. 374pp.