A jellyfish has a soft body.
A jellyfish has a soft body.
 
 
An earthworm has a soft body.
An earthworm has a soft body.
 
 
An octopus has its shell on the inside.
An octopus has its shell on the inside.
 
 
A snail carries its shell.
A snail carries its shell.
 
 
A crab has its shell on the outside
A crab has its shell on the outside
 
 
A spider is an invertebrate.
A spider is an invertebrate.
 
 
A beetle is an invertebrate.
A beetle is an invertebrate.
 
 What is...invertebrate?
Topic(s):   Insects, Invertebrates, What is ...

Invertebrates are animals with no backbones. Other than that, different kinds of invertebrates do not have much in common.

There are many kinds of animals with no backbones. Some have soft bodies like earthworms or jellyfish. Some have shells on the inside like the octopus. Others, like clams and snails, have a hard shell on the outside. Some invertebrates are very small. They cannot be seen without a microscope. Some are huge. The giant squid can be 59 feet long.

Most invertebrates are arthropods. That means they have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies. Insects and spiders are in this group. Lobsters and crabs are in this group, too.

Almost all of the animal species in the world are invertebrates. And they have been around a long time! Fossils from 600 million years ago have been found. Worm tracks have been found from almost a billion years ago.

Resource information

Friends of the National Zoo. (n.d.). Invertebrates: The Silent Majority. Retrieved April 21, 2013, from http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/Invertebrates/Facts/

Invertebrates: Animals without Backbones. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2013, from http://www.kidport.com/reflib/science/animals/animalindexinv.htm

Kennedy, J. (n.d.). Invertebrate - What Is An Invertebrate. Retrieved April 21, 2013, from http://marinelife.about.com/od/glossary/g/Invertebrate.htm

Klappenbach, L. (n.d.). Facts About Invertebrates. Retrieved April 22, 2013, from http://animals.about.com/od/invertebrates/a/tenfactsinvertebrates.htm

Ocean Planet: In Search of Giant Squid - Architeuthis dux. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2013, from http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/squid_Architeuthis.html

Squids, Octopuses and Cuttlefish (Cephalopoda). (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2013, from http://www.molluscs.at/cephalopoda/

Citation information

APA Style: What is an Invertebrate?. (2014, March). Retrieved from Facts4Me at http://www.facts4me.com

MLA Style: "What is an Invertebrate?." Facts4Me. Mar. 2014. http://www.facts4me.com.

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