ExpertIconInvertebrate.bmp (45990 bytes)BE AN EXPERT: INVERTEBRATES

Not having a backbone isn't as bad as it seems for some creatures.  In fact, more than 95% of the world's aniaml population is spineless!   Use the following questions and activities to become an expert on invertebrates.   SmithLifeScience found at:

1. Invertebrate Vocabulary      10 Points
Define the words associated with invertebrates.

radial symmetry
bilateral symmetry

2. Invertebrate Phyla
     5 Points
Next to the scientific name of each invertebrate phyla write the  common meaning

   Phylum Name 



3. Sponges: A Coloring Worksheet     10 Points
Early biologists thought sponges were plants.
Today, we know that sponges are simple, multicellular animals.
They are in the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Porifera.
Read the article, color and label the diagram of the sponge .
Activity found at:


4. Hydra   
5 Points
The hydra is a cnidarian, a sting-celled animal.
Label the diagram of this hydra.
Basal Disk, Epidermis, Gastrovascular Cavity, Gastrodermis, Mesoglea, Mouth, Tentacles

                              SciHydraDiagram.bmp (183234 bytes)


5. Jellyfish and Sea Anemone  5 Points
List similar and different characracteristics of Sea Anemones and Jellyfish.

SciInvertJellySeaAnenomeAlikeDifferent.bmp (1081246 bytes)

6.Mollusks Classes
     5 Points
Name a member of the 3 common classes of mollusks

7. Bivalves     10 Points
Bivalves have two-part shells. The Bivalvia class has 30,000 species, including scallops, clams, oysters and mussels.  Other names for this class include Bivalva, Pelecypoda, and Lamellibranchia. Bivlaves are exclusiveley aquatic.  There are freshwater and saltwater bivalves.  Bivalves are filter feeders and feed by siphoning and filtering small aprticles from the water.  Some bivalves are epifaunal, this means they attach themselves to surfaces in the water by means of a byssus (byssal threads) or an organic cement.  Other bivalves are infaunal, they bury themselves in sand or other sediments. These bivalves have a strong digging foot. Some bivalves can swim.

Identify these clam body parts.
SciMolluskClamDiagram.bmp (842366 bytes)

8.Snail Diagram       5 Points
Label the parts of the snail.


SciInvertSnailDiagram.bmp (305262 bytes)
  • Anus
  • Apex
  • Eye Spot
  • Foot
  • Genital Pore
  • Mantle
  • Mouth
  • Pneumostome
  • Shell
  • Tail
  • Tentacle Minor
  • Tentacle major


9. Arthropod Classes    
5 Points
Name a member of the 5 common classes of arthropods

10. Earthworm Diagram     5 Points
Label the Earthworm diagram.

  • Anus
  • Crop
  • Intestine
  • Segments
  • Blood Vessel
  • Esophagus
  • Mouth
  • Brain
  • Gizzard
  • Pharynx
  • Clitelum
  • Hearts
  • Nerve Cord

SciInvertEarthwormDiagram.bmp (1173174 bytes)

Arthropod Legs     10 Points
Label the bee leg and the crustacean appendage

         SciInvertBeeLeg.bmp (205686 bytes)   SciInvertCrabLeg.bmp (342954 bytes)
  • Coax
  • Femur
  • Tarus 1
  • Tibia
  • Trochanter
  • Other Tarsus
  • Basis
  • Carpus
  • Coax
  • Dactylus
  • Endopod
  • Epipodite
  • Ischium
  • Merus
  • Propodus


11. I Want to Know     10 Points
Make a list of 10 questions about invertebrates.
Research the answers to these questions.

Invertebrate Research 
12. Insect Shape Book
     15 Points
Make a shape book about an invertebrate.
Research the information to answer these questions.

Define and describe the characteristics of an insect.
What is the name of the insect you have chosen?
Why did you choose this critter?



Visual Aid





13. Crayfish Diagram    
10 Points
The crayfish belongs to the Arthropod Phylum, Class Crustacea.
Identify the body parts of the crayfish.

SciCrayfishDiagram.bmp (295846 bytes)   A.



14. Horseshoe Crab     15 Points
Once called "Horsefoot Crabs" because of the resemblance of its shell to a horse hoof, the Horseshoe Crab isn't really a crab. Related to scorpions, ticks and land spiders, horseshoe crabs have their own classification (Class Merostomata).

Research the Horsehoe Crab and answer these questions.

1. Why don't horseshoe crabs look like other crabs?
2. Where do horseshoe crabs live?
3. What do horseshoe crabs eat?
4. Are horseshoe crabs endangered?
5. How big do horseshoe crabs get?
6. What are horseshoe crab used for?
7. Why are horseshoe crabs known as "living fossils"?
8. How many species of horseshoe crabs are there?
9. How do horseshoe crabs mate?
10. Do the birds eat the eggs?
11. How long does it take for the horseshoe crabs to hatch?
12. What do baby horseshoe crabs look like?
13. Is the horseshoe crab's tail dangerous?
14. Are the claws dangerous?
15. Do horseshoe crabs have teeth?
16. How are horseshoe crabs useful?
17. What is so unique about their blood?
18. How is the blood beneficial to pharmaceutical and the medical field? 
19. How is the blood extracted from the horseshoe crabs?
20. What can we-the ordinary citizen do to ensure their survival rate?
21. How long does it take for the horseshoe crabs to be fully grown?
22. How do you tell the difference between the male and female horseshoe crab?

23. How would you eat them?


15. Spider Diagram     5 Points
Label the body parts of this spider.
Prosoma, Spinnerets, Pedipalp, Abdomen, Eyes, Chelicerae
* Pedipalp is used twice.

SciSpiderDiagram.bmp (650214 bytes)



The Arts
16. Phyla Paragarph
     10 Points
Choose one of these invertebrate phyla: Porifera, Cnidarians, Platyhelminthes, Nematodes, Mollusks, Echinoderms, or Arthropods.  Write a paragraph describing the phylum's basic characteristics. 
What makes it belong to its group?


17. Invertebrate 3-D Model      10 Points
Make a 3-D model of any invertebrate. 
Include an index card that contains information about your invertebrate

18. Biological Drawing
     10 Points
Make a biological drawing of an invertebtate species.
Label the parts of the invertebrate.
Include information on the back.


19. Horseshoe Crabs and the Arts Competion      15 Points
Submit a poem, a story or  a picture of the remarkable horseshoe crab. The competition is open to all grade levels. Students may enter through their school or can enter individually. Each year 30-50 student artworks are selected to appear in  “Horseshoe Crabs & the Arts.”  Each of the selected young artists as well as their teacher receives a copy of this limited edition artist’s book. All selected works are posted on our web site in the “Poems, Tales and Images” category. In addition, the works are reproduced for exhibit in our traveling art exhibition, which has been hosted in art and nature centers throughout the United States and Japan. The competition year begins each September. The deadline for receiving works is April 15th. Selected artists are notified by June 1st.

Horseshoe Crabs and the Arts Competion found at:


Collecting Invertebrates
20. A Spineless Graph
     15 Points
1. Fill a styrofoam meat tray with the upper few inches of soil from under a rock or a log.
2. Spread out the soil in the tray.
3. Look for beetle larvae, earthworms, roundworms, slugs, pill bugs, centipedes, millipedes, and ants.
4. As you find them put them in a jar to observe.
5. Record name and the number of each invertebrate you find on a data chart.
6. Make a drawing of each invertebrate you find.
7. Use your data to create a bar graph of your data.
8. Use your drawings to decorate the bars or the horizontal axis.
9. Make a terrarium for the invertebrates or return them to where you found them.

Data Chart

    Name of Organism                       Drawing of Organism                    Number Found










21. Baked Potato Trap      15 Points
Compare the type and numver of invertebrates found in moist and dry soil.

Make a Data Sheet

    Name of Organism    Soil Type                    Drawing of Organism                    Number Found










22. Pest Report     25 Points
Assignment: Become a pest expert!
Use this 10-step process for learning how to take notes and organize them into a paper on your favorite pest.
Follow these links to begin writing your paper or download our report manual.
Found at:
Requirement: 30 notecards


23 Snail Observation     5 Points
Use a small container, a freshwater snail, and a magniying glass.
Divide a sheet of paper into thirds.
Turn the pages sideways so that the folds form three columns.


24. Insects, Spiders, and Other Invertebrates..Oh My!      5 Points
Record information about insects and spiders.
Create your own insect and spider.
Found at:

Invertebrate Reference Chart



Sheepswool Jellyfish Planarian Vinegar eel Clam worm Clam Starfish Lobster
Sulfur Sea Anemone Fluke Hookworm Earthworm Giant Squid Sand Dollar Centipede
Grantia Coral Tapeworm Trichina worm Leech Octopus Sea Urchin Pill Bug
Bath Sponge       Sandworm Snail Sea Cucumber Ant
          Slug   Butterfly
          Scallop   Mosquito
          Oyster   Black Widow
              Hermit Crab



Horseshoe Crab found at:

Identification Key to the Orders of Common Ground Arthropods found at:

Invertebrates: Sponges found at: