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Invertebrates: introduction

An invertebrate is an animal that does not have a backbone.

Ninety-seven percent of all animal species are invertebrates.

Invertebrates are classified into different groups, depending on their characteristics:

  1. Porifera or Sponges
  2. Cnidaria: it includes jellyfish and corals
  3. Worms
  4. Mollusks
  5. Arthropods: This group includes insects, crustaceans, arachnids and myriapods. 
  6. Echinoderms

Invertebrates share four common traits:

  1. They do not have a backbone.
  2. They are multi-cellular. All the cells have different responsibilities in keeping the animal alive.
  3. They have no cell walls, like all other animals.
  4. They reproduce by two reproductive cells, or gametes, coming together to produce a new organism of their species.

An invertebrate is a species of animal which does not have a back bone, such as a spider, insects, lobsters and crabs. It is estimated that as much as 97% of all animal species are invertebrates. Below is some additional information and a selection of external resources on invertebrates.

 

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Invertebrates classification

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