Wonderful World of Invertebrates Web Quest

Suggested Grade Level: 

7-10 Grade Biological Science

Topic Area: Invertebrate Taxonomy 

Try this Link for General Reference Ucmp Web Lift to Taxonomy -University of California, Berkeley

Created by:

Barbara Wagner

Newport Beach, California



Somewhere around 9 or 10 million species of animals inhabit the earth; the
exact number is not known and even our estimate are very rough. Animals
range in size from no more than a few cells to organisms weighing many tons,
such as blue whales and giant squid. Most animals inhabit the seas, with
fewer in fresh water and even fewer on land.

Intvertebrate Zoology
Search the Marine Species Data Base

Living things are classified in a hierarchical taxonomy. The basic levels of this hierarchy are: 


A popular mnemonic to remember the above list is
"King Phillip Came Over From Germany Stoned". 

TASK:  You must learn to say these seven levels of classification in
their proper order.  *

 * I recommend that you say them OUT LOUD and OVER and OVER .
Before you know it, you will have them  memorized in a very useful form.
(you will KNOW them!!!) 

1.)  Phylum Porifera: Sponges

Click here to find out about Sponges
Introduction to Porifera -U.C. Berkeley
Phylum Porifera -University of Michigan

1.)  How many species of sponges are found in the world?  (tell about where they live)
2.)  Explain what cellular-level organization means?
Click here to see how sponges are built.
3.) The body plan of a sponge (as seen on "how sponges are built" link above)

2.) Cnidarians: Jellyfish, coral, hydra & sea anemones

Web Resourcs for Cnidarians

Animal Diversity Web -University of Michigan

Click here to find out about Cnidarians

The Cnidaria Home Page

Introduction to the Cnidaria -U.C. Bekeley

Jelly Fish: Phantoms of the Deep -National Aquarium (Baltimore)

1.) Explain what it means to have "tissue level" of organization? 

2.) How many openings to the Cnidarian's body? (Tell the two functions) 

3.) Tell how medusae and polyps are different from one another.
4.) Explain how  nematocysts work  for Cnidarians.  

3.) Platyhelminthes: The flatworms

 Click here to read  about Platyhelminthes

1.)  Explain  what bilateral symmetry is all about. 

 Click here to see the parts of a flatworm.
(Scroll down from the first image you see to find a more complete drawing of
  the anatomy) 

2.)  Draw a picture of either:
  a.) The parts of a flatworm
  b.) One of the flatworms found on this link. 

4.) Mollusks (soft bodied invertebrates)

The Cephalopods Page | Ocean Animals - Mollusks
Pictures of Mullusks 

Try this Link to Answer the questions below.
Search Marine Species Index

1.) Explain about  two adaptations of mollusks?
2.) Explain where the mantle is and what it does for mollusks.
3.) Make a detailed drawing of the Squid anatomy

5.) Annelids: The segmented worms.

Introduction to the Annelida

Annelids Resources

  Annelids have bodies that are segmented.  Within the body of the segmented
worm are rather elaborate and well developed systems of organs.  There is a circulatory system with five "aortic arches" which act as a heart to keep the blood moving in the worm.  There is a digestive tract that begins with a prostomium with a mouth, a  muscular pharynx,  an esophagus, a crop for storage of food, a gizzard for breaking food down (much as a stomach acts in humans) and a small intestine where the nutrients are absorbed into the blood for delivery to cells.  There is a small brain on the dorsal side of the pharynx that connects to the ventral nerve cord that runs the length of the worm.
Worms are hermaphroditic (have the organs that produce eggs and others which produce sperm).  Earthworms have a clitellum that slips off of the worm and becomes a brood chamber for developing young. 

6.)  Echinoderms: Spiny skinned invertebrates

Pictures of Echinoderms

Try to find Internet Resources to answer the following questions. 

  1.)  What are three ways you would be able to recognize an echinoderm if you
    found one at the tide pools.
  2.)  What factors influence how fast they grow and how big
    echinoderms become.
  3.)  Name four common types of echinoderm.
  4.)  What is the maximum age of echinoderms?
  5.)  In your Invertebrate book, draw a picture of an echinoderm and
    label the parts

 Click here to see a couple of echinoderms

  Click here to find out about the Crown of Thorns Starfish that is threatening the
  world's coral reefs. 

7.)  Arthropods: animals with exoskeletons & jointed appendages

 Click here to find out about arthropods

 1.)  Explain one reason that arthropods are such a  wildly successful group of animals.
2.)  Read about the morphology of arthropods and tell 7 interesting adaptations of appendages in arthropods.  
3.)  What other phylum is closely related to arthropods? (Explain your answer) 

 1.)  What is the deadliest animal in the world? (deadlier than what?) 

Click here to find out about mosquitos  | Mosquito Information | Mosquito Links

1.)  Why does a rainy season set the stage for a mosquito infestation?
2.)  Explain the life cycle of mosquitos.
3.)  What can you do if you want to reduce the mosquito population? 

Click here to find out about centipedes and millipedes
Use Encarta On-line Encyclopedia to find out about Centepedes

Play a Centepede Game - Requires Jav enable browser

 4.) Draw a picture in your Invertebrate Book that either: 

a.) Shows the life cycle of the mosquito
b)  Shows the body parts of a crustacean, arachnid or insect 

A few Internet Resources:

Email: (Barbara Wagner)

Created August 14, 1998
Last Revised November 4, 2001