Other invertebrates

Invertebrates (animals without backbones) make up the majority of animals on Earth, with many millions of species exploiting the sky, sea, land…and even the insides of other animals. Find out about the good, the bad and the ugly, as we reveal the little-known worlds of some of these fascinating creatures.

  • A glass model of a radiolarian, Dorataspis diodon
    Blaschka models of marine invertebrates

    Rotate a stunning glass model of a radiolarian, a type of plankton, created in the 19th century by the famous artisans Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka and view more of their exquisite models in our slideshow.

  • Electron micrograph of Osedax mucofloris, the new species of marine worm
    Discovery of North Sea marine worm

    Find out about the marine worm Osedax mucofloris (which means bone-eating snot-flower) that was found in one of the best-studied marine environments on the planet, the shallow waters of the North Sea.

  • Preparation of giant squid
    Preparation of giant squid video

    Watch the Natural History Museum's scientists at work, preparing the 8.62m-long giant squid for storage, in this video.

  • A Chinese mitten crab
    Chinese mitten crabs

    The Chinese mitten crab is having a significant impact on our environment. Find out why, and how you can help scientists record their invasion.

  • British earthworms
    British earthworms

    There are more than 25 species of earthworm in Britain. Browse images of the more common ones and find out why they are so good for soil.

  • Participants in the OPAL earthworm survey look for British earthworms in the park
    British earthworm survey

    Find out how you can help scientists learn more about the distribution of British earthworm species and the soil they live in.

  • Clover mite, Bryobia praetiosa
    Mite specimens

    Zoom in on stunning magnified images of mites and come face to face with the creepy crawlies sharing your home.

  • CT scan of a mite
    Mite CT scan

    Take a look at the cutting-edge technology that allows scientists to study specimens, like this mite, without having to dissect or damage them, and learn more about our mite research.

  • An echinoid, Centrostephanus longispina
    The Echinoid Directory

    Use our illustrated key to identify sea urchins and their relatives and explore how they live, along with a brief history of the group.

  • Specimen jar
    Specimen jar

    Rotate our virtual specimen jar, and view brachiopods collected during the HMS Challenger expedition from 1872 to 1876.

  • Land snail
    Land snail

    A. haemastoma is a large and beautiful snail only found in Sri Lanka. Take a 360 degree look by rotating our virtual object’s shell.

  • Walking with woodlice
    Woodlouse identification key

    This simple key will help you to identify the woodlice that you are most likely to find.

  • A coral reef near the Seychelles
    Fate of coral reefs

    Watch the video to find out why carbon dioxide emission levels need to be limited if we are to avoid the extinction of tropical coral reefs.

  • Goose barnacles
    The secret life of barnacles

    Barnacles are not only zoologically fascinating but are also economically important. Find out how and why with zoologist Phil Rainbow.

Cartoon image of a snake disappearing through closing door

There are 27 km of specimen shelves in the Darwin Centre - the same distance as between the Museum and Junction 6 of the M1.