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Invertebrate Zoology 100 Hours Certificate Course

Invertebrate Zoology Course Online: Acquire an expertise of invertebrate animals by completing this specialised course. Learn all about spineless creatures, from the microscopic to those that can be seen with the naked eye.

There are similarities and differences between vertebrate and invertebrate animals:

  • Vertebrates have a backbone or a spinal column; invertebrates don't.
  • Apart from some bacteria, both vertebrates and invertebrates are heterotrophic, meaning that they rely on other organisms in the food chain for food.
  • Invertebrates are classified into thirty phylia, whereas there are just five classification of vertebrates: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. 
  • 98% of the animal kingdom is made up of invertebrates, so they far outnumber vertebrates.
  • Howether vertebrates redress this imbalance by taking up more space in the world; they are larger in size.
  • There are approximately 2 million species of invertebrates identified by scientists, with more still to be named. This compares with a mere 57,739 known vertebrates.

When some of us consider invertebrates, we think about horrible "creepy crawlies," such as Spiders and Daddy Longlegs and it is true to say that many of us have a deep aversion to these. However invertebrates importance to the ecosystem of the planet cannot be ignored. Worms for example aerate the soil and insects like bees, carry pollen from one plant to another. Without this, new plants wouldn't grow and their crucial part in converting nitrogen into oxygen wouldn't happen. Therefore, the habitats of invertebrates should be preserved and even minor features of where they live and reproduce, can be vital to their continuing survival.

It's and interesting fact that 80% of the World's population eat insects. Here are some examples: 

  • Agave Worms – large fat moth larvae; eaten as part of a meal in Mexico.
  • Leafcutter Ants – said to taste like a cross between pistachio and bacon; eaten in South America.
  • Honeypot Ants – part of the body is swollen and filled with a nectar like substance.
  • Bee larvae – sautéed in butter.
  • Centipedes – sold and eaten as street food on skewers in China.
  • Cicadas – harvested just after moulting when the body is softer and tender. Eaten in parts of Asia
  • Crickets – eaten in South East Asia and Mexico, either fried, roasted or boiled.
  • Grasshoppers – roasted and eaten with chilli in Mexico.
  • Termites – taken from mounds and eaten raw in Kenya.

This course is ideal for anyone who requires a sound understanding of invertebrates in their profession, for environmental purposes, to prepare to take a biology degree, for professional development, or even for self-education in the subject. 


Learning Goals: Invertebrate Zoology BEN218
  1. Describe the scope and nature of invertebrate animals. 
  2. Compare and contrast different groups of invertebrates. 
  3. Discuss the major differences between animals and plants.
  4. Describe and compare the structure and function of animals that cannot be seen readily with the naked eye. 
  5. Discuss the difference between protists and microscopic invertebrates. 
  6. Describe and compare the structure and function of a variety of different worms and worm-like animals. 
  7. Discuss the difference between true worms and worm-like organisms. 
  8. Understand the importance of worms in an evolutionary and body organisation context. 
  9. Describe and compare the structure and function of a variety of different sponges, corals and anemones. 
  10. Understand differences between motile and sessile, and how these affect defence and feeding. 
  11. Describe and compare the structure and function of a variety of different molluscs and echinoderms.
  12. Explain the basics of arthropod body structure and origin.
  13. Describe and compare the structure and function of a variety of different arthropods.
  14. Explain the likely origin of insects.
  15. Describe and compare the structure and function of a variety of different insects.
  16. Explain the significance of insects to man.
  17. Discuss the importance of insects in the environment.
  18. Discuss the impact of insects to humans and agriculture. 


Lesson Structure: Invertebrate Zoology BEN218

1  Scope and Nature of Invertebrate Animals 

  • Introduction
  • Simple vs Complex: Invertebrates and their significance to humans 
  • Invertebrates are Animals, Not Plants 
  • Animal Cells and Plant Cells 
  • Food Production and Respiration 
  • Movement 
  • Important Terms
  • Microscopic Invertebrates
  • Worms & Worm Like Animals 
  • Molluscs and Echinoderms 
  • More Complex Invertebrates 

2  Microscopic Animals 

  • Introduction
  • Protozoa or Animalia? 
  • Phylum Nematoda
  • Mites
  • Phylum Tardigrada
  • Adaptibilty and Survival 
  • Phylum Kinorhycha
  • Phylum Loricifera
  • Phylum Placozoa 

3  Worms and Worm-Like Animals

  • Introduction
  • True Worms vs. Worm-like Organisms 
  • Evolution of Worms
  • Bilateral Symmetry 
  • Cephalisation
  • Body Organisation 
  • Characteristics and systems showing the evolution of complexity in worms: 
  • Flatworms
  • Characteristics of platyhelminths 
  • Free-living Flatworms 
  • Parasitic Flatworms
  • Human liver fluke (Clonorchis sinensis) 
  • Blood flukes (Schistosoma) 
  • Class Cestoda (tapeworms) 
  • Beef tapeworm (Taenia saginata)
  • Phylum Nematoda (Roundworms)
  • Phylum Annelida (Segmented Worms)
  • Other Worms & Worm-Like Animals
  • Coelomate Worms

4  Sponges, Corals, Anemones, Jellyfish 

  • Introduction
  • Phylum Cnidaria
  • Cnidaria and Humans 
  • Phylum Ctenophora
  • Phylum Porifera
  • Internal and External Structure 
  • Reproduction
  • Toxicity in Non-Motile Invertebrates 
  • Classes within Porifera 
  • Finding food: a comparison of these phyla 

5  Molluscs & Echinoderms 

  • Introduction
  • Phylum Eccinodermata
  • Class Crinoidea 
  • Class Ophiuroidea 
  • Class Asteroidea 
  • Case Study: The Crown-of-Thorns Starfish 
  • Class Echinoidea 
  • Class Holothuroidea 
  • Phylum Mollusca
  • What makes a mollusc? 
  • Types of Mollusca 
  • Reproduction

6  Arthropods, Part 1

  • Introduction
  • Classification of Arthrpoda
  • Origin of Arthropods
  • Important Definitions
  • Characteristics of Arthropods
  • Sub Phylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
  • Class: Arachnida (Scorpions, Spiders, Mites and Ticks)
  • Order Scorpiones (Scorpions)
  • Order Araneae (Spiders)
  • Order Acari (Mites and Ticks)
  • Order Opiliones (Daddy Long-Legs)
  • Class: Merostomata (Horseshoe crabs)
  • Class: Pycnogonida (Sea spiders)

7  Arthropods, Part 2

  • Useful definitions
  • Sub Phylum Crustacea (Crustaceans)
  • Class Malacostraca (Lobster, Crayfish, Isopods, Amphipods, Krill, Crabs, Shrimp Etc)
  • Order Decapoda (Decapod Crustaceans)
  • Order Isopoda (Terrestrial and Freshwater Crustaceans)
  • Order Amphipoda
  • Class Branchiopoda (Fairy Shrimp, Water Fleas)
  • Characteristics of the class Branchiopoda Class
  • Class Cephalocarida
  • Class Remipedia
  • Class Maxillopoda (Barnacles, Copepods, Ostracods)
  • Sessile Crustaceans
  • Sub Chilopoda (Centipedes) and Class Diplopoda (Miilipedes)

8  Insects, Part 1

  • Introduction
  • Origin of Insecta
  • Winged vs. Non-Winged
  • Class Entognatha
  • Order: Collembola
  • Order: Diplura
  • Order: Protura
  • Class Insecta
  • Insect Features
  • Insect or Arthropod?
  • Insect Orders
  • Insect Features
  • Specialised Organs
  • Reproduction and Lifecycle
  • Vision
  • Communication
  • Exploring Insecta
  • Order Odonata: Dragonflies and Damselflies
  • Order Mantodea: Mantises
  • Order Orthoptera: Grasshoppers, Crickets, Katydids

9  Insects, Part 2

  • Introduction
  • Clean Air, Clean Water
  • Water
  • Pollination
  • Food
  • Insects as a Crop
  • Case Study: Grasshoppers save lives
  • Air
  • Insects with Sinificance to Humans
  • Order Diptera: Flies and Mosquitoes
  • Dipteran Features
  • Order Hymenoptera: Bees, Wasps, Sawflies
  • AntsHymenoptera Features
  • Bees
  • Order Coleoptera: Beetles, Weevils
  • Coleoptera Features



Course Info
How Do Our Tuition Fees Compare?Full time classroom based Further Education Courses - Approx. £5,000 per year - Part-time classroom based Adult Education Courses - Approx. £7.00 per hour - N.B. classroom tuition means you learn at the pace of the class. One-to-one private tuition - from £15.00 per hour - ADL one-to-one tution fees - From £340 per 100 Hour Course = Average of £3.40 per hour - N.B. one-to-one tuition is tailored to your own individual learning availability and pace.
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Comparative Credits InformationUK Course Credits: 10 - U.S. Credit Hours: 3 - when compared to regulated courses.
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Invertebrate Zoology 100 Hours Certificate Course


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Invertebrate Zoology 100 Hours Certificate Course

Price: £295.00Course Code: BEN218
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