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Invertebrate I.D. The quiz!

Be an invertebrate investigator!

There are twenty questions to test your knowledge of the invertebrates - so scroll down and start fossil hunting!


Fossil sponges 1. In the past, people thought sponges were:

a. Minerals
b. Plants
c. Fungi

 

Fossil corals 2. Corals are made up of small animals that look like tiny sea anemones. These animals are called:

a. Zooids
b. Bovids
c. Aphids

 

Fossil corals 3. Corals usually live in:

a. Muddy freshwater pools
b. Warm shallow seas
c. Dry dusty deserts

 

Fossil gastropods 4. Many molluscs have shells made of calcium carbonate. Is it true that:

a. Gastropods have internal shells
b. Cuttlefish have external shells
c. Ammonites have external shells

 

Fossil gastropod 5. Gastropods are common molluscs. Everybody knows at least one gastropod, it is:

a. The common garden snail
b. The crested newt
c. The giant millipede

 

Ammonite 6. Cephalopods are important molluscs that include:

a. Snails, slugs and limpets
b. Ammonites, squid and nautiloids
c. Cockles, mussels and clams

 

Recent nautiloid 7. Nautiloids are the only cephalopods alive today with external shells. These shells are:

a. Straight, with gas filled chambers
b. Coiled, with no chambers
c. Coiled, with gas filled chambers

 

Ammonite 8. Ammonites are common fossils in England. Many years ago people who found ammonites thought they were:

a. Fossilised cow pats
b. Snakes, magically turned to stone
c. Crushed snail shells

 

Ammonite 9. Ammonites are extinct, but they are closly related to Nautilus, so we think that they lived in a similar way. Ammonites probably:

a. Floated in the oceans, eating shrimp
b. Lived on land, eating plants
c. Lived in freshwater, eating shrimp

 

Belemnites 10. Some belemnite fossils have been found that show their soft tissues. From these we can see that they:

a. Were purple with pink spots
b. Looked liked modern squid
c. Made clicking sounds as they swam

 

Gryphaea 11. Bivalves can attach themselves to hard surfaces, bore into rock, or even swim. We can tell how fossil bivalves lived by looking at:

a. The ligament between their shells
b. The animal's soft tissue
c. The shape of their shells

 

Recent brachiopods 12. Brachiopods are quite rare today. In Britain, they are only found in:

a. Deep English lakes
b. A few Scottish sea-lochs
c. Welsh mountain streams

 

Recent lobster 13. Arthropods are an important group of animals which includes insects and crustaceans. Is it true that arthropods have:

a. A tough, jointed exoskeleton
b. A tough, jointed endoskeleton
c. A tough, fused exoskeletons

 

Trilobite 14. Most trilobite fossils are only fragments of their exoskeletons. This is because, like other arthropods, trilobites grew by:

a. Puffing their bodies up
b. Shedding their exoskeleton
c. Growing more legs

 

Sea scorpion 15. Eurypterids, or sea-scorpions, lived mainly in coastal lagoons and freshwater. They are closely related to:

a. Lobsters and crabs
b. Beetles and bugs
c. Spiders and scorpions

 

Recent horseshoe crab 16. Horseshoe crabs are sometimes called living fossils, because they:

a. Are living animals made of stone
b. Haven't changed in millions of years
c. Are easily fossilised today

 

Insects in amber 17. Amber, containing insects that lived at the same time as the dinosaurs, has recently been found on:

a. The Isle of Man
b. The Isle of Wight
c. The Isle of Dogs

 

Recent crab 18. Lobsters, crabs and shrimp are all crustaceans. A small animal you often find in the garden is also a crustacean. It is:

a. The woodlouse
b. The honeybee
c. The spider

 

Graptolites 19. Graptolites are normally found in dark mudstones and shales. They look quite different from many other fossils - their name means:

a. Drawing in the sand
b. Swirling in the water
c. Writing on the rock

 

Fossil sea urchin 20. Echinoderms often have an obvious five-way symmetry. This means that animals like starfish usually have :

a. Two legs
b. Five arms
c. Thirteen fingers

If you read these pages you should become an expert invertebrate identifier!
The major groups are listed below - select a link to learn more about this type of fossil.

Sponges Corals
Molluscs Brachiopods
Arthropods Graptolites
Echinoderms Return to the wheel

If you know it all already, return to the Homepage or test yourself with our Quiz!