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Camel Spider
Camel Spider
What are ammonites, and how did they come to rule the prehistoric seas?
What are ammonites, and how did they come to rule the prehistoric seas?
Bombardier beetles
Bombardier beetles
About Invertebrates

Invertebrates are animals without a backbone or bony skeleton.

They range in size from microscopic mites and almost invisible flies to giant squid with soccer-ball-size eyes.

This is by far the largest group in the animal kingdom: 97 percent of all animals are invertebrates. So far, 1.25 million species have been described, most of which are insects, and there are millions more to be discovered. The total number of invertebrate species could be 5, 10, or even 30 million, com- pared to just 60,000 vertebrates.

One reason for the success of invertebrates is how quickly they reproduce. Sponges and corals, for example, produce both eggs and sperm. Social insects such as ants and bees lay eggs that can develop without fertilization—they become the workers.

Insects in particular are successful because they are so adaptable. They are opportunistic eaters, feeding on plants, animals, and decaying organic material. They are able to survive in extreme environments, including very hot, dry habitats. And many can fly—either to escape predators or to find new sources of food, water, and shelter.

Like vertebrates, invertebrates are classified based upon their body structure, life cycle, and evolutionary history.

From the National Geographic book, Animal Encyclopedia, 2012

Latest Invertebrates Videos

June 25, 2019 - NOAA scientists capture on video a 10-to-12 foot squid in the wild— the first time in the U.S.
Video Courtesy: Edie Widder and Nathan Robinson; oceanexplorer.noaa.gov
Latest Invertebrates Stories
Many animals play dead—and not just to avoid getting eaten
Many animals play dead—and not just to avoid getting eaten
Blood-squirting insects and more tiny creatures flourish in African park
Blood-squirting insects and more tiny creatures flourish in African park
See the giant ‘sea worm’ filmed off the coast of New Zealand
See the giant ‘sea worm’ filmed off the coast of New Zealand
Watch: Dracula ant’s killer bite makes it the fastest on Earth
Watch: Dracula ant’s killer bite makes it the fastest on Earth
Hitchhikers make life difficult for Antarctic sea spiders
Hitchhikers make life difficult for Antarctic sea spiders
Fire Devastates Brazil's Oldest Science Museum
Fire Devastates Brazil's Oldest Science Museum
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