Ocean Invertebrates & Ocean Vertebrates

By Kevin Jones II
List of names under Phylum:
 The phylum of animals to which sponges belong
 the most primitive true animals
 There are between 9,000 and 15,000 species of sponges
classified under phylum
 Suspension feeders
 Have no:
 Digestive system
 Circulatory systems
 Respiratory systems
 Nervous systems
Aplysina archeri
(Stove-pipe Sponge)
Agelas conifera, the Brown Tube Sponge
The Stovepipe Sponge is a filter feeder and eats food
such as plankton or suspended detritus as it passes by
It reproduces both asexually and sexually. Sperm is
released into the water column where it floats and then
settle down on substrate and begins to reproduce cells
and grow. It takes hundreds of years for a single sponge
to mature and it actually never stops growing until it
Typically smooth walled, brown to tan in color, smooth,
velvety in appearance. Grow in clusters, joined at base.
Found on protected coral and rocky reefs on walls in
canyons and crevasses
They are able to filter many litres of sea water every few
Sponges can exude highly toxic chemicals and so have very
few predators apart from nudibranchs, sea stars, sea urchins
and umbrella shell.
 Coral, jellies, sea anemones, siphonophores
 contains about 9,000 or 10,000 mostly marine species
 have stinging cells deployed on tentacles
stinging cells is the explosive cell containing one giant secretary
organelle are called Cnidocyte
 A cnidocyte fires a structure that contains the toxin, from a
characteristic sub-cellular organelle
 Some species of sea anemone can live 50 years or more.
 food taken in waste expelled through the mouth
 two forms:
 medusa: jellyfish
 polyp: coral & sea anemone
 exhibit radical symmetry
Cnidaria (Examples)
Brain coral (Faviidae)
Sea anemones and clownfish
Sea anemones live in a symbiotic relationship with the
29 species of clownfish.
The clownfish are protected by a mucus layer that
makes them immune to the anemone's sting.
Clownfish live within the anemone’s tentacles
getting protection from predators, and the anemone eats
the scraps from the clownfish’s meals
clownfish also help keep the anemone's tentacles clean
The group contains a breeding pair and some nonreproductive smaller males.
When the female dies, the dominant male changes sex
and becomes the female.
Brain corals are found in shallow warm-water coral
reefs in all the world's oceans.
The life span of the largest brain corals is 900 years
Brain corals extend their tentacles to catch food at
Brain corals use their tentacles for protection by
wrapping them over the grooves on their surface.
The surface is hard and offers good protection against
fish or hurricanes
Platyhelminthes (ocean worms)
 Flatworms, flukes, tapeworms
 Most primitive organism with a central nervous systems
 Lack true respiratory and excretory systems
 Exist as parasites and free-living predators and
 Exhibit bilateral symmetry
 Found in fresh water
Platyhelminthes (examples)
a flatworm that lives on human beings or in
other animals
Many of these live on the gills or skins of fish,
while others live in frogs
Most flukes require two or more hosts to
complete their life cycles
infest such parts of the body as the lungs, liver,
blood, heart, or intestines
Are free-living, primarily carnivorous
flatworms-with a three-branched digestive
eat other living, as well as dead, invertebrates,
detritus or decaying organic matter, and some
prefer diatoms
They are found beneath rocks, logs, or dead
leaves in springs, spring brooks, ditches,
wetlands, streams, and lakes
Nematoda (ocean worms)
 Roundworms
 they would be the most diverse phylum of, and one
 of the most diverse of all animal phyla, but discussion is
in progress to determine whether the phylum is to be
split or not
 Most primitive organisms to have a flow-thru
digestive system
 Exhibit bilateral symmetry
Nematoda (Examples)
lives in the small intestine of its host, which may be a
mammal such as a dog, cat, or human
Two species of hookworms commonly infect humans,
Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus
much smaller than the giant roundworm
susceptible children hookworms cause intellectual, cognitive
and growth retardation, intrauterine growth retardation,
prematurity, and low birth weight among newborns born to
infected mothers
thrives in warm earth where temperatures are over 18°C
Eelworms (also called Root Knot Nematodes) are tiny,
almost microscopic, wormlike creatures that are very
common in soil
wide range of host plants, tomatoes one of the most
critically affected
very moist conditions in the soil
Effects of an eelworm infestation include stunting, wilting,
yellowing, reduction of flowering, fruit set, and fruit
development and sometimes even plant death.
 Segmented worms
 Most evolution advanced worms
 Bodies divided into segments
 Each segment can have its own: circulatory, excretory,
nervous, muscular, and reproductive systems
 Exhibit bilateral symmetry
 22,000 modern species
 They are found in marine environments from tidalzones
to hydrothermal vents, in freshwater, and in moist
terrestrial environments
Chloeia flava.
Segmented worms that belong to the phylum
Leeches do not have bristles and the external
segmentation of their bodies does not correspond
with the internal segmentation of their organs
They also have two suckers, one at each end
Leeches live in freshwater environments
Predominantly blood suckers that feed on blood from
vertebrate and invertebrate animals
This is one of the color variants called Chloeia flava. In
the middle of each segment there's an U-shaped white
line surrounding a dark center; in some animals the
white lines surround a very narrow dark line.
Average life span: 1-1.5 months
5-10 centimeters
sports an array of poisonous bristles
defend against animals lacking hard exoskeletons
 Clams, snails, octopus, squid, sea slug (nudibranch) 2nd largest number of species
 Most have external or internal shell
 Squid- largest invertebrate
 Octopus- most intelligent invertebrate
Caribbean Reef Octopus
Inhabits many reefs and grass beds throughout the western
Atlantic, Bahamas, Caribbean, and northern South America
generally does not venture inland towards seas
very short lifespan, generally only a year to a year and a half
the male will begin mating by wrapping around the female
and then using a special tentacle will attach a sperm packet
to the female. The male will die shortly after this moment,
but the female will continue to live until the eggs hatch,
usually 500 per batch. She will not eat during this time, but
she will protect the nest fiercely from all invaders
There are over 500 living species of venerid bivalves, most of
which are edible, and many of which are exploited as a food
clams are characterized as bivalves with an external posterior
ligament, usually a well demarcated anterior area known as
the lunule, and three interlocking structures
are also anterior lateral teeth, anterior to the cardinal teeth:
one in the left valve, and two (sometimes obscure) in the
right valve. The inner lower peripheries of the valves can be
finely toothed or smooth.
 Lobsters, shrimp, crabs, barnacles, krill
 Largest number of species
 Most successful phylum
 3 evolutionary advances:
An exoskeleton
 Striated muscles
 Articulation
 Exoskeleton is molted at regular intervals
 Exhibits bilateral symmetry
spiny lobsters
The Japanese spider crab
Adult spiny lobsters make their homes in the protected
crevices and caverns of coral reefs, sponge flats, and
other hard-bottomed areas
inhabits tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic
Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. Spiny
lobsters get their name from the forward-pointing
spines that cover their bodies to help protect them from
spider crab
spider crab
In its natural habitat, the Japanese spider crab
feeds on shellfish and animal carcasses and may
live for up to 100 years
The Japanese spider crab has the greatest leg span
of any arthropod, reaching 3.8 metres (12 ft) from
claw to claw
 Sea star, brittle stars, sea urchins, sands dollars, sea
 Lack eyes or brains
 5-section radically symmetrical body
 Approximately 13,000 echinoderm species are known
from the fossil record
Echinodermata (examples)
Sea Star (Starfish)
About 1,800 living species of starfish occur in all the world's oceans, including
the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Artic and Southern Ocean regions.
Suspension feeder and adaptations for feeding on specific prey. They have
complex life cycles and can reproduce both sexually and asexually. Most
can regenerate damaged or lost arms.
sea cucumber
All sea cucumbers are ocean-dwellers, though
some inhabit the shallows and others live in
the deep ocean.
Sea cucumbers feed on tiny particles like algae,
minute aquatic animals, or waste materials, which
they gather in with 8 to 30 tube feet that look like
tentacles surrounding their mouths.
Chordata (Invertebrates and vertebrates)
 Tunicates (sea squirts), amphioxus, and salps
 Most advanced animal phylum
 Possess a stiffening “notochord” (invertebrates)
 More advanced phylum members are the vertebrates
 well represented in marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats from
the Equator to the high northern and southern latitudes
Chordata (examples)
Common in equatorial, temperate, and cold seas, where they
can be seen at the surface, singly or in long, stringy colonies
Cycle exist together in the seas—they look quite different, but both are
mostly transparent, tubular, gelatinous animals that are typically
between 1 and 10 cm (0.39 and 3.9 in) tall.
Appear to be increasing in population
Salps appear similar to jellyfish because of the simple body form and
planktonic behavior, they are structurally most closely related to
vertebrates, animals with true backbones
Fish-like, marine creatures, forming the class Cephalochorda, of
the phylum Vertebrata
Lancelets grow up to about 5 centimetres (2.0 in) long, reaching
7 centimetres (2.8 in) at the longest
A relatively poorly developed tail fin is present, so they are not
especially good swimmers
Comprise some twenty-two species of fish-like marine
chordates with a global distribution in shallow temperate (as
far north as Scotland)[2] and tropical seas, usually found halfburied in sand
Are found in brackish or salt water, generally near the coast, and
have been referred to several genera and many species
 Classified (following Worms) under the Kingdom
Animalia, Phylum Chordata and Subphylum
Vertebrata, are among the most structurally complex
Agnatha (no jaws)
 Hagfishes, lampreys
 Have jawless snake-like bodies
 They have no distinct stomach, but rather a long gut, more or less
homogenous throughout its length.
Feed off other fish and mammals.
They rely on a row of sharp teeth to shred their host.
Anticoagulant fluids preventing clotting are injected into the host, causing
the host to yield more blood.
Are decomposers, eating mostly dead animals. They also use a sharp set of
teeth to break down the animal
Agnatha (examples)
The Hagfishes are found in the family Myxinidae which contains
72 described species divided into 6 different genera.
The hagfishes belong to the family Myxinidae,
Hagfish are found in temperate seas in both hemispheres, but
hagfish has not been found in the Red Sea
The hagfish is famous for its habit of burrowing into dead or
dying animals and devour them from the inside
The hagfish is almost blind, but it has not problem detecting
food since it is equipped with highly developed senses of touch
and smell.
Lampreys are anadromous or fresh water, eel-shaped jawless
recognized by the large, rounded sucker which surrounds their
mouth and by their single "nostril" on the top of their head.
A large sucker surrounding the mouth, strengthened by an
annular cartilage.
Spine-shaped processes on gill arches
are devoid of a mineralized skeleton, although traces of globular
calcified cartilage may occur in the endoskeleton
 Sharks, skates, rays
 Skeleton made of cartilage
Chondrichthyes (examples)
Pelagic stingray
Whale Shark
You’ll find the rays' venom glands in paired grooves running the
length of their barbed poison spines. Their sting—which is extremely
painful—is usually not fatal
Preferring warm waters, whale sharks populate all tropical seas
feeding upside down
favorite meal is plankton
They are distinguished by their diamond-shaped
bodies with rounded snouts and streamlined eyes that
don’t protrude from their bodies
reaching lengths of 40 feet (12 meters) or more,
They scoop these tiny plants and animals up, along
with any small fish that happen to be around, with
their colossal gaping mouths while swimming close to
the water's surface.
The whale shark's flattened head sports a blunt snout above its
mouth with short barbels protruding from its nostrils
 Bony fish
 Possess hard, strong, lightweight skelekon
 Most numerous & successful of all vertebrates
 internal skeleton ossified (i.e., endochondral bone)
 swim bladder or lung present
 bony scales (ganoid, cycloid, ctenoid, or cosmoid)
 gill slits covered by an operculum (single external gill
 late Silurian to Recent
Osteichthyes (examples)
Black Sea Bass
Salmon eggs are laid in freshwater streams typically at
high latitudes.
The salmon spend about one to five years (depending on
the species) in the open ocean, where they gradually
become sexually mature
live along the coasts of both the North Atlantic (the
migratory species Salmo salar) and Pacific Oceans
they are born in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, then
return to fresh water to reproduce.
generally first mature as females and some later become
male. The sex change generally occurs over the winter
when the fish
They can be found in inshore waters (bays and sounds)
and offshore
They spend most of their time close to the sea floor and
are often congregated around bottom formations such as
rocks, man-made reefs, wrecks, jetties, piers, and bridge
 Sea turtles, sea snakes, marine crocodiles,
marine lizards (iguana)
 Breathe with lungs
 Covered with scales
 Have special salt glands to concentrate and
excrete excess salt from body fluids
Marine Iguanas
Green Sea Turtle
maligned marine iguanas of the Galápagos Islands are so famously
homely, even Charles Darwin piled on, describing them as "hideouslooking" and "most disgusting, clumsy lizards."
The shells of sea turtles are lighter and more hydrodynamic
than the shells of turtles that live on land, allowing them to
glide easily through water
They're not pretty, with their wide-set eyes, smashed-in faces, spiky
dorsal scales, and knotty, salt-encrusted heads
Juvenile green sea turtles are carnivorous, feeding on jellies
and other invertebrates
Their population is not well known, but estimates are in the hundreds
of thousands
However, greens are the only herbivorous (vegetarian)
species of sea turtle, feeding on sea grasses and algae.
Snouts and small, razor-sharp teeth help them scrape the algae off
rocks, and their laterally flattened tails let them move crocodile-like
through the water
Green sea turtles are found in all tropical and subtropical
seas along the coasts of continents and islands
 Sea birds
 Four groups:
Tubenose (albatross)
 Pelicans
 Gulls
 Penguins
 Have special salt-excreting glands in their head to
eliminate excess salts
 Obtain virtually all food from the sea
Aves (examples)
Kelp Gulls
Kelp Gulls are omnivores like most Larus gulls, and they will scavenge as well as seeking suitable small prey
also known as the Dominican Gull, breeds on coasts and islands through much of the southern hemisphere
The nest is a shallow depression on the ground lined with vegetation and feathers. The female usually lays 2 or 3 eggs.
Both parents feed the young birds.
Brown pelican (Pelecanus
They live in flocks of both sexes throughout the year
Its habit of diving for fish from the air, as opposed to co-operative
fishing from the surface
The adult brown pelican is a large dark gray-brown water bird with
white about the head and neck. Immatures are gray-brown above and
on the neck, with white underparts. Although the Caribbean
Other fish preyed on with some regularity can include pigfish, pinfish,
herring, sheepshead, silversides, mullet, and minnows, and they
sometimes eat crustaceans, usually prawns. A single adult pelican can
eat up to 1.8 kg (4.0 lb) each day
Amphibia (not true ocean animals)
 Frogs, salamanders, toads
 Adapted to freshwater and moist land habitats
Spotted Salamander
The American Toad
Eat earthworms, snails, slugs, spiders,
millipedes, centipedes, isopods, and insects
Large salamanders, sometimes growing over nine inches
Skin is bluish-black or dark gray, and they have two rows of round
yellow or orange spots down their backs. Their bellies are slate gray.
Large, growing up to 4 1/2 inches long.
Full-grown adults are usually chubby.
Varies in color
All of them have warts, and some have a light
stripe down their backs.
Both male and female toads have a spotted belly,
but the male has a darker throat.
 Whales, dolphins, seals, sea lion, walruses, sea
otters, manatees
 Most intelligent of marine vertebrates
 Most advanced of vertebrates
 Three orders:
 Cetacca
 Carnivora
 Sirenia
 Breathe with lungs
Mammalia (examples)
Humpback whales
Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are
baleen whales (Suborder Mysticeti).
They are one of 76 cetacean species, and are marine
there are over 10,000-15,000 humpback whales worldwide. Humpback whales are an endangered species
Humpback whales have a life expectancy of 45-50
Dolphins live in saltwater but they can also live in
freshwater locations
Dolphins, like almost all mammals, give birth to live
young, and nurse them with mammary glands, though
it boggles the mind to imagine nursing underwater
come to the surface of the water to get air
Walter J. Bock, "Chordata", in AccessScience@McGraw-Hill, http://www.accessscience.com , DOI 10.1036/10978542.133700, last modified: April 10, 2000.