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Animal and Biomes Basics Theme Unit
Invertebrates
Animals Without Backbones



Animals Without Backbones

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.24

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    regenerate, zooplankton, freshwater, invertebrate, feel, abdomen, backbone, outer, estimate, exoskeleton, neck, back, limbs, covering, squishy, thorax


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Animals Without Backbones
By Sheri Skelton
  

1     Feel the back of your neck. The bones at the back of your neck are connected to small bones all the way down the middle of your back. These bones make up your backbone. Scientists put all animals into two large groups. One group is animals with backbones. The other group is animals without backbones.
 
2     Animals without backbones are called invertebrates. Scientists estimate that 97 percent of all animals are invertebrates. They are found almost everywhere on Earth, living in oceans or freshwater ponds, living above the ground or under the ground. Invertebrates can be very tiny like the zooplankton, which are smaller than the head of a pin. Invertebrates can be very big like the giant squid, which can be over 30 feet long.
 
3     Insects are the biggest group of invertebrates. An insect's body has three parts: a head, a thorax, and an abdomen. An insect has an exoskeleton, or outer covering, to protect its body. The exoskeleton can't get bigger. When an insect grows, the insect has to shed its exoskeleton and grow a new one.

Paragraphs 4 to 6:
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Animal and Biomes Basics Theme Unit
             Animal and Biomes Basics Theme Unit


Invertebrates
             Invertebrates



Animals
    Amphibians  
 
    Birds  
 
    Deserts  
 
    Fish  
 
    Freshwater  
 
    Grasslands  
 
    Insects  
 
 
    Invertebrates  
 
    Mammals  
 
    Oceans  
 
    Polar Regions  
 
    Rain Forest  
 
    Reptiles  
 


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