An animal without a backbone, the invertebrates comprise over 99% of the 15 million or more animal species on the planet.

Some scientists believe there may well be over 100 million species of invertebrate and that we have so far only seen the tip of the iceberg. It is thought that invertebrates in some form or another have inhabited the planet for over 1 billion years. Invertebrates include insects, spiders, sponges, snails, octopuses, clams, squid, jellyfish, anemones, corals, starfish, sea urchins, worms - the list could go on to fill this page!

Most invertebrates are relatively short-lived animals. Individuals of some species die of old age after less than 24 hours. Other species such as some clams are believed to live for over 200 years.

At Chester our invertebrates are housed in various places around the zoo; in the Aquarium you will find the corals, shrimps, urchins and starfish; in the Tropical Realm we keep our beetles and spiders; and  in Realm of the Red Ape we keep our stick insects and praying mantis.

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