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Aquatic Invertebrates

Invertebrates are animals without backbones (spines). Macroinvertebrates are invertebrates that are big enough to see without a microscope. Most creatures on Earth are Invertebrates!

Phylum Porifera are sponges! They are multicelluar and cannot move. They have no organs or nervous system. Most live in oceans but some live in fresh water. Sponges are filter feeders, they filter food particles from the water around them. They have a skeleton composed of spicules.

The Phylum Cnidaria are jellyfish, corals, hydras and sea anemones! All of these (except hydra) are found in the oceans. They are multicellular and have some tissues. They have an internal cavity and mouth! Jellies, anemones and hydra capture food with stinging tentacles and pull them to its mouth. They usually have a two stage life cycle; polyps then medusas.

Phylum Arthropoda includes crustaceans, trilobites and some insects. They have exoskeletons, jointed legs. They have nervous systems with brains, a circulatory system with a simple heart. They have tissues, organs, eat most things and live most places.

In the phylum Mollusca are snails, slugs, octopus, squid, bivalve (clams) and natilus! They have no internal body cavitybut they do have a cavity for breathing and excretion. This is the largest marine phylum, containing 10 taxonomic groups (two of which are extinct) The Cephalopods (squid, octopus, cuttlefish) are the most neurologically advanced invertebrates.

 

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Tags:Phylum, Mollusca

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