Horseshoe Crab © Stephanie Pyron


Invertebrates make up 90 percent of all animal species on earth. What they have in common is they lack a backbone, but their differences are striking. The other group of higher animals, vertebrates like us, all fit into one phylum (primary category for classifying animals). There are over 30 different phyla used to cover the differences in invertebrates that occupy every habitat on earth. Some stay in the same spot most of their lives while others crawl, float, swim and fly. Insects rule – they are by far the largest group in the animal kingdom and represent tremendous diversity. We will touch on only one insect, the butterfly. It is in stark contrast to the marine invertebrates which themselves have some amazing adaptations. While many of these sea creatures are familiar as seafood, seashells or starfish souvenirs, there are many amazing aspects to the life they lead. Marine invertebrates are the subject of many of interesting videos that are included here.

Ghost Crab Nav


Sea Star Nav

Sea Stars & Sand Dollars

Horseshoe Crab Nav

Horseshoe Crabs


Jellylike Animals

Seashells Nav

Seashells – Snails

Butterfly Nav


Octopus Nav

Squid & Octopus

Bivalve Nav

Seashells – Bivalves

Content for this section was provided by Rick O’Connor, the Florida Sea Grant agent for Escambia County. The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (UF/IFAS) partners with coastal counties to provide education, research, outreach and extension programs. You may reach him at and find out more at