Archive for May 28th, 2014

Wildlife: Invertebrates

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Tarantula outside TPWD HQ in Austin, Texas

Tarantula outside TPWD HQ in Austin, Texas

This is Passport to Texas

What are invertebrates? The first thing you need to know is they vastly outnumber us humans.

08— Invertebrates are any animal that doesn’t have bones. So, most of the animals on the planet are invertebrates.

Think: insects, snails, worms, flies and all manner of boneless animal on land and in the sea. Biologist, Ben Hutchins has a soft spot for these spineless creatures.

09— As an invertebrate biologist, I’m interested in where these animals occur, why we find them where they are, and what are they doing on a day-to-day basis.

To a lot of us, invertebrates are creepy crawlies; the angst-producing members of the animal kingdom. Ben says good bad or otherwise – they all have their place.

18— A lot of these are economically important: they pollinate our plants, they pollinate our crops. Some are pests; they eat our plants and eat our crops. Some of them are parasites, and some of them have very interesting interactions with other animals. So, they play a really important role in the environment.

And there’s one class of invertebrates that’s captured Biologist Ben Hutchins imagination and we go underground to learn about them tomorrow.

We record our series at the Block House. Joel Block engineers our program.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.