Tag Archives: why invertebrates are awesome

Why Cnidarians (jellyfish, coral) are awesome

Everybody knows that coral are essential for marine biodiversity. Most people don't know, however, that they are also secretly brutal bad asses. As cnidarians, corals and anemones (anthozoans) are related to the feared jellyfish (medusazoans). The common thread that unites cnidarians is the presence of stinging cells. Read more

Why starfish (Asteroidea) are awesome

Seemingly adorable and innocuous, starfish are actually vicious predators, the mere mention of which would fill you with heart-stopping terror if you were a mollusc or other small marine invertebrate. And actually, considering that several starfish species brandish poisonous spines, people should probably be more afraid of them, too. In fact, starfish is too cute a name (and too inaccurate, as starfish are not "fish" at all); I propose that we start calling them death-stars. Read more

Why Formicids (ants) are awesome

If you get down to it, ants are basically super tiny people that happen to have an exoskeleton. They live in cities of up to several hundred million, with individual ants taking specific jobs, and they even essentially have a monarchical government (don't hold it against them; we humans have only just recently started experimenting with other forms of government). If a mere social structure doesn't impress you, however, read on to find out why ants are awesome. Read more

Why Gastropods (snails & slugs) are awesome

Snails. They're slow and boring. We regularly use "snail-like" as an adjective to diss something for being so slow - hardly a positive connotation. What could be so exciting about snails? For starters, what about the fact that they're basically moving fortresses? Okay, maybe this doesn't impress you. Turtles have the same thing going for them, after all. Read more

Why Poriferans (sponges) are awesome

I've talked about why despite their slow rap, snails are actually awesome -- but if there's a creature more seemingly boring than a snail, it's the sponge. Evolutionarily, sponges are among the oldest, most basal multi-cellular animals, and as such, they're very simple, lacking organs and the ability to move -- but despite this, they've come up with some clever body engineering. Read more