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These are animals without a backbone or bony skeleton. This is the largest group in the animal kingdom; 97% of all animals on Earth are invertebrates living on land, in fresh water and the sea. It is a very varied group ranging from microscopic flies to enormous octopus. What invertebrates have you spotted in your garden?Some familiar examples of invertebrates include:-

  • Arthropods are covered in a hard exoskeleton

    • Insects- have 6 legs, 3 parts to body, antennae, 2 pairs of wings (butterflies, moths, flies, dragonflies, beetles, bees, ants)

    • Arachnids- have 8 legs, 2 parts to body, many spin webs (spiders) 

    • Crustaceans – have more than 8 legs and a segmented body (woodlice, crabs)

    • Myriapods – have very many legs and a segmented body (millipede, centipede)

  • echinoderms - have a star-like appearance with five-way symmetry and spiny skins

    • sea urchins

    • starfish

  • molluscs – many of these have shells

    • snail and slug 

    • squids  

    • octopuses 

  • annelid – these have a long, muscular, segmented body

    • earthworms  

    • leeches

  • cnidarians - many of these have stinging cells

    • jellyfish  

    • sea anemones  

    • corals

  • porifera

    • sponges

White tailed bumble bee, Red Admiral and Speckled Wood butterflies
Dragonflies, damselfly, butterflies, moths and caterpillars

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