This chapter focuses on the invertebrates—on whom the whole bio-economy of our planet depends. These creatures exist in countless numbers and represent a dazzling variety of different forms and form a critical link—not only in the food chain but also in the long history of life. Thus the chapter begins by mapping the geologic history of the invertebrates, represented by body fossils, traces of activity on sedimentary rocks, and the chemical signatures of rocks. It then goes on to describe half a dozen or so invertebrate groups that are most common in both living and fossil forms: sponges, coelenterates, mollusks, worms, echinoderms, brachiopods, and arthropods.
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