Invertebrates are animals without a back bone. This includes about 97% of all animals, as there are only a small number of vertebrate animals. Marine invertebrates range from single celled animals through to more highly complex, organised multicellular animals such as the crustaceans (crabs, lobster) and molluscs (which include snails and octopus). Even animals with a spinal cord in early stages of their development, such as the sea squirts (tunicates) are classed as invertebrates. On these pages we will concentrate on the most common or highly visible animals you are likely to see on the Wellington south coast.
These are the more common you may see while snorkelling but for some, like the nudibranchs, you have to look very close. Click on a picture to find out more
All photos by Stephen Journeé unless credited otherwise