Invertebrates from the Gulf of Mexico

Photo collage of six species of invertebrates.
(Smithsonian Institution NMNH Department of Invertebrate Zoology)

The Smithsonian's Department of Invertebrate Zoology has a collection of over 57,000 specimens from over 5,700 sites in the Gulf of Mexico, which are now catalogued on Google Earth. Below is a tiny sample. Clockwise from top left: Acanthacaris caeca (Atlantic deep sea lobster), the shell of Cirsotrema dalli (Dall's wentletrap snail), Lyreidus bairdii (a frog crab), Ophioderma rubicundum (ruby brittle star), Litoscalpellum giganteum (a stalked barnacle), Astropecten duplicatus (two-spined star fish). See more invertebrates from the Gulf of Mexico, as well as photos of life on the floor of the Gulf, at the Invertebrate Zoology website. More about the 2010 Gulf oil spill can be found in our Gulf Oil Spill section.