The biodiversity existing among living things in a healthy environment includes invertebrates with no hard body parts or with only a protective hard shell on the outside of the body. Some of these have parts that are jointed so that they can move, and vertebrates, with an internal skeleton like humans.
Animals with soft bodies and no external protection: Worms.
There are quite a lot of animals with soft bodies, many of which are so small that a microscope is needed to see them, but among the ones we can see, there is a variety of worms, including earthworms which live in the soil and leaches which usually are found in or near water.
Photo shows some of the small worms living in the mud at the bottom of the pool; notice the adaptation shown by the small one – it has a lot of bed blood cells to help it extract oxygen from the largely depleted water around it.
Leeches are segmented worms, just like earthworms, that usually live in water. They are an interesting part of the food chain as they are both food for predators and predators themselves.
Animals with soft bodies inside a hard shell: Molluscs or Snails.
Some of the animals with soft bodies, protect themselves by growing a shell as a covering or a “house”.
Animals with hard shells and jointed legs: Arthropods.
There are two major groups of animals with hard outer shells and jointed limbs. They are classified by the number of pairs of legs each one has. Insects have 3 pair, spiders have 4 pair and others e.g. centipedes, have more.
Insects and Spiders
Typical insect structure Typical spider structure
Insects are a very diverse group of animals and are divided into groups according to how their wings are structured. Some have four wings, like Dragonflies and Beetles. For Beetles the outer wings are hard like the body shell. Many insects have a life cycle of 4 stages
Egg Caterpiller Coocoon Adult
But others just grow from small nymphs to larger adults, shedding their hard outer skin as they grow out of it. Spiders are predators, hunters of smaller animals, which have evolved to have quite a variety of different web types. These were monitored during a biodiversity survey when at least 11 different types of webs were encountered. Some were large round webs at least half a metre across while the smallest was only a few centimetres across.
Amphibians resident in, or visiting Tumbi Wetlands
Common Eastern Froglet
Striped Marsh Frog
Reptiles resident in, or visiting Tumbi Wetlands
Common Garden Skink
Eastern Water Skink
Red-bellied Black Snake
Birds resident in, or visiting Tumbi Wetlands
Common Koel violaceus
Eastern Yellow Robin
Pacific Black Duck
Mammals resident in, or visiting Tumbi Wetlands
Links below are to photographs of these mammals on this site.
Common Ringtail Possum
Common Brushtail Possum
Grey Headed Fruit Bat