You don’t have to be a vertebrate to be cute…

In my Biology of Australian Flora and Fauna university subject, I’ve recently been learning about Australia’s terrestrial invertebrates, and it’s legitimately amazing to find out how many groups of invertebrates exist that most people have no clue about. One such group is the phylum Onychophora, or the velvet worms, who form the unranked taxon Panarthropoda with the related phyla Arthropoda (arthropods, including insects, crustaceans and spiders) and Tardigrada (water bears, which are amazing organisms themselves).

Velvet worms are fascinating creatures, as the following video briefly shows:

You see, invertebrates can be cute! And being a biologist means that you can appreciate the cuteness factor and the relevant biology and evolutionary relationships. It’s the best of both worlds, really.

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