Sea background
Other invertebrates

Life in the ocean is very diverse and special pages are here on the 6 most abundant invertebrate phyla in the ocean. Now we will tell you about the other twenty nine. Some of them are numerous while other have very few species. Most are monotonous and the animals not conspicuous like the other 6 large phyla.

Many are worms. The most primitive of those are the flatworms (platyhelminthes), that can sometimes be found under stones. Many are also parasites, even in humans. Roundworms (nematoda) are very small and can be common in the sediment. Many are also rather annoying parasites in fishes. Other worm phyla that have been found in Eyjafjörður are ribbon worms (nemertean), spoon worms (echiura) and priapulid worms (priapulida). These are not common, but can be quite large.

Two animal phyla can be common in the plankton. These are the comb jellies (ctenophore) and arrow worms (chaetognatha). Both are predators on other zooplankton

Moss animals (bryozoan) are found on the bottom. Each individual animal is tiny but they always live in colonies that often look like moss. Brachiopods (brachiopoda) superficially look like bivalves and share similar lifestyle, but are totally unrelated. Previously in earth’s history they used to be much more common than bivalves, but now seem to be losing the competition. They are mostly found in the deep sea.

Of all invertebrates, the tunicates (urochordata) are our closest relatives although it is not possible to see any resemblance in adult specimens. However the larvae stage is very unlike the adult stage and looks like a tadpole. Tunicates are in fact in the same phyla as we, chordata. Tunicates can be both sessile and planktonic.

Other invertebrate groups have not been recorded in Eyjafjörður, but this in not to say that they are not there, rather that nobody has been looking carefully enough.


adrid2 Whelk, tunicate and sponges (photo Erlendur Bogason) Whelk, tunicate and sponges (photo Erlendur Bogason)

adrid1 Bryozoans on a kelp stipe (photo Erlendur Bogason) Bryozoans on a kelp stipe (photo Erlendur Bogason)


The Fisheries Science Center | University of Akureyri | Borgum v./Norðurslóð | IS 600 Akureyri | Tel: +354 460 8900 | fax +354 460 8919 | E-mail: hreidar(hjá)

Design / Programing / Hosting - ArcticPortal