The world’s largest invertebrates — TOP10 species

Article bay
7 min readSep 25, 2022

The world’s largest invertebrates are true giants, which, with their size, can cause a genuine stupor. Wondering which species are among the largest? Below I list ten record-breakers.

Titan beetle — [Photo: Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

Do you associate invertebrate animals only with small insects? That’s quite a mistake! The types included in this systematic unit are characterized by astonishing diversity, not only in terms of shape, but also in terms of body size.

Did you know that invertebrates are the most numerous group of animals? Species included in this systematic unit have mastered all environments and are found on every continent. Some sources say that more than a million invertebrates have been cataloged to date, while others indicate that there are many times more.

What are invertebrates?

Problems with determining the number of invertebrate species are not unfounded. After all, it is important to know that we are not talking about a systematized supertype, type or subtype, but only a conventional systematic unit, which includes all non-vertebrate animals. Consequently, invertebrates are characterized by great diversity in terms of body structure, internal organs, lifestyle, habitat and behavior.

The most characteristic feature common to all invertebrates is the absence of an internal skeleton. It is this factor that allows a species to be classified in this group. Other characteristics of invertebrate animals are:

  • multicellular structure,
  • two symmetries in terms of body plan — bipedal (typical of most invertebrate species) and radial (characteristic of ribworms, parazoans and echinoderms).

The great diversity of invertebrates means that in virtually every cluster included in this unit, you can find species that clearly surpass their relatives in terms of size. What are the world’s largest invertebrates?

Hercules’ moth

[Photo: Jim Bendon from Karratha, Australia, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

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