Invertebrates are a classification of animals that lack a vertebral column or "backbone". Our world is made of many more species of invertebrates than vertebrates. Examples of invertebrates include insects, arachnids, crustaceans, squid, and jellyfish among others.
The family Apidae is a large and very diverse group of bees. Honeybees nest in large cavities or hives and are social. These pollinators pollinate approximately 80% of the crops we consume across the United States. You can help bees by resisting the urge to use weedkillers and allow dandelions and clover to grow. You can also plant bee-friendly plants like mint, lavender, honeysuckle, and roses.
Two colonies of honeybees can be seen at the Zoo Sanctuary. In the wetlands area near the goats, you may find junior zookeeper campers donning bee suits and investigating bee boxes. At the Barnyard Experience, guests can get an up-close view of the inside of a beehive – you may even spot the colony’s queen!
The curly hair tarantula is just one arthropod comprising the over 900 species of tarantulas. All tarantulas have an exoskeleton that protects their internal organs. When they grow bigger, they need to molt their exoskeleton to form a new, larger one. These carnivores are generally harmless, feeding on other insects. Tarantula Hermione Granger eats crickets, mealworms, and Dubia roaches in her habitat at the reptile house.
Giant desert hairy scorpions Drake and Striker are native to the American southwest. When viewing them at the reptile house you may notice that they don’t look hairy at all! They get their name from the tiny hairs on their back that help them detect vibrations in the soil. Though they are the largest scorpion in the region, the venom from their sting is quite mild to humans and is like that of a honeybee.