Lower Invertebrates

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The key attribute of being an animal is ingestion. Of all the life processes (excretion, respiration, etc.), obtaining nutrients is the only one that requires a specific type of activity. Capturing food for eating—at least for larger, more complex animals—requires thought, responses to environmental stimuli, and specific behaviors and techniques. As will be discovered, the taxonomy of animals reflects the importance of obtaining nutrients, as some of the groupings are based on feeding styles.

Nine major phyla of animals are considered over the course of three units. The Lower Invertebrates unit is devoted to those without true body cavities. A second biology study guide unit includes those invertebrates that have a true body cavity, while the third unit in this set is devoted to the phylum Chordata.

The introduction to animals at the beginning of this unit covers the topics of symmetry and polymorphism, and introduces some different reproductive behaviors. Armed with these, the unit focuses in on the systems and survival strategies of these four phyla: Porifera (sponges), Cnidaria (jellyfish), Platyhelminthes (flatworms), and Nematodes (roundworms).

Lower Invertebrates is excerpted from our Biology 11 Study Guide, which is the fourth edition of a student study guide written to match the curriculum of British Columbia. The concepts presented are applicable to the biology curricula of other educational jurisdictions as well.

As with each of the biology study guide units in this series, this unit contains:

  • Biological terms linked to a Glossary where they are carefully and contextually defined
  • Biological names in the Glossary linked to a useful Taxonomic Guide
  • Diagrams that display fullscreen views when double-tapped
  • Quiz-view formats of many diagrams in the enhanced version
  • Sets of Concept Check-up questions dispersed in the unit that are linked to their answers
  • Sets of Discussion Questions dispersed in the unit designed to challenge you as you work through it
  • A concluding set of Check Your Understanding of Concepts multiple choice questions linked to their answers
  • A set of Build Your Understanding questions designed to push you beyond the limitations of this unit.

Note: Discussion Questions and Build Your Understanding questions are not linked to their answers.