Biology Links for Zoology 250

Animal diversity sites

Particularly useful sites:

  • Tree of Life (explorable phylogeny of all living things; easy to navigate; limited information for some taxa)

  • Open Tree of Life (explorable phylogeny of all living things down to species level in most cases)

  • Shape of Life (a stunning 8-part documentary series on the development and evolution of life, funded by the US National Science Foundation & several private foundations; a number of the spectacular video clips shown in class come from this series).

  • Antarctic Underwater Field Guide (a remarkable collection of great photos, condensed summaries of biology -- with references -- for a wide range of marine protists, invertebrates, and vertebrates; a valuable resource)

  • Discover Life (a brave attempt to assemble information on all protist, animal and plant species at one site; 1,272,323 species pages as of Feb. 1, 2014; includes: geographic range maps (use with caution, these are not always verified), phylogenetic trees (variable coverage), on-line species ID guides using picture-based character specifications but variable quality & coverage)

  • Animal Diversity Web (Extensive site by the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology; includes classification of some taxa down to genera)

  • Museum of Paleontology Taxon Lift (another extensive site by the University of California Museum, Berkeley; includes discussion of phylogeny and evolution)

  • BioDiversity Explorer (useful information on insects, spiders & scorpions, fragmentary information on marine groups; Museums of Cape Town, South Africa)

  • Palaeos (an excellent companion to the Tree of Life with more extensive information on fossil groups)

  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System ("authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, and microbes of North America and the world"; useful for assessing current classification of taxa)

  • Index of Organism Names (extensive database of Latin names derived from the scientific literature; no quality control on synonyms though)

  • Global Biodiversity Information Facility (extensive database of taxon names, including classification and geographic range information; but, again, no quality control on synonyms)

  • Jellies Zone (a superb site with lots of information and beautiful pictures of cnidarians, ctenophores and other gelatinous zooplankton)

  • Sea Slug Forum (everything you'd like to know about sea slugs)

  • Global Worming (a great resource for information on the fascinating and evolutionarily significant 'lower' worms of the meiofauna:
      - Acoelomorpha (originally in Platyhelminthes, may belong in Deuterostomia),
      - Catenulida (still in the Platyhelminthes), and
      - Gnathostomulida (sometimes a separate phylum, sometimes in Platyhelminthes)

Animal diversity sites (cont.)

Resources for Northeast Pacific Coast Taxa:

  • A Snail's Odyssey (a wonderful synthesis of information and interesting questions about the biology of northeast Pacific invertebrates; a valuable resource)

  • Invertebrates of the Salish Sea (extensive information and pictures of west-coast marine invertebrates with tips for how to identify species)

  • (great photographs and movies of northeast Pacific species)


  • Lamb A. and Hanby P. H. 2005. Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest. Harbor Publishing, Madeira Park, BC. 398 pp. (a fabulous resource with many fine pictures and brief descriptions of most species)

  • Gregory C. Jensen. 2014. Crabs and Shrimps of the Pacific Coast: A Guide to Shallow-Water Decapods from Southeastern Alaska to the Mexican Border. Mola Marine. (This truly remarkable book covers every shallow-water crab and shrimp from the Gulf of Alaska to the Mexican border- nearly 300 species. It comes with a CD that has all the species profiles in a pdf (fully referenced with 2,600 hyperlinks to the original references), plus interactive keys, video clips, and more) (purchase)

Great photo/video sites:

Invertebrate Zoology Courses / OnLine Texts
  • UBC Comparative Invertebrate Zoology (BIOL 205; Brian Leander; see the Virtual Labs for some nicely implemented study materials)

  • Invertebrate Zoology OnLine (Richard Fox; drawings and laboratory exercises to accompany the most authoritative invertebrates textbook on the market: Ruppert EE, Fox RS, Barnes RB. 2004. Invertebrate Zoology, A Functional Evolutionary Approach)

  • U Ottawa Invertebrate Zoology (BIO 3334; Jon Houseman- click on Lectures links to extensive links & study crossword puzzles)

  • Invertebrate Zoology, North Carolina State (BIOL 402; Niedzlek Feaver, detailed notes and good diversity of pictures)

  • T.H. Huxley's 'The Crayfish' on-line (a WONDERFUL, turn-of-the-century essay on Zoology for the layman; complete with hot-links to a glossary and copies of the original woodcut figures)


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(revised Jan. 10, 2017)