Where are the spineless?

Hey! I’m supposed to host the Circus of the Spineless next week (I think on 29 January), and I’ve only received one submission so far! Someone must have written something somewhere about invertebrates, right? There is a set of rules for submissions, but it’s going to be simple: I’ll accept anything about any organisms outside the class Vertebrata.

I’ll spell it out. You can write about the phyla Acanthocephala, Acoelomorpha, Annelida, Arthropoda, Brachiopoda, Bryozoa, Chaetognatha, Cnidaria, Ctenophora, Cycliophora, Echinodermata, Echiura, Entoprocta, Gastrotricha, Gnathostomulida, Hemichordata, Kinorhyncha, Loricifera, Micrognathozoa, Mollusca, Myxozoa, Nematoda, Nematomorpha, Nemertea, Onychophora, Orthonectida, Phoronida, Placozoa, Platyhelminthes, Pogonophora, Porifera, Priapulida, Rhombozoa, Rotifera, Sipuncula, Symplasma, or Tardigrada, and that’s fine. You can even write about the Urochordata, the Cephalochordata, and the Myxini within the phylum Chordata. The overwhelming majority of animal species are fair game, so there is absolutely no excuse if anyone tries to send me a picture of their cat. Understand? Fish, frogs, lizards, birds, mammals, dinosaurs, and your baby pictures are right out.

I’m also going to accept multiple submissions, if you’ve been manic about documenting the breadth of biodiversity. We shall do our best to overcome the bias of the blogosphere for kitties and other furred and feathered and scaled beasties.

Although the tagline for the circus says it is a monthly celebration of “most anything else that wiggles”, I’m also going to break the shackles of metazoan chauvinism, so if you want to send in something about protists, lichens, fungi, plants, whatever, anything but things with a spinal column, I’ll accept them and put them in an honored category of their own.


  1. says

    Wikipedia says that recent research definitively places myxini within vertebrata.

    Also, can I send an article about Congressional Democrats?

  2. Tara Mobley says

    I would love to help out, but I don’t have a real blog and the only good spineless story I have is just spider porn.

  3. Patrick says

    Reading the rules, I see there is a picture category.

    I have a pretty sweet picture of my Avicularia Avicularia using it’s famous and unique excrement defense..only picture I’ve ever seen of this actually happening. He’s in midshit…would that work?

  4. Loris says

    I’m confused. Any organism outside the class Vertebrata. I just taught my students today that Vertebrata is a sub-phylum. Did I miss a new development in classification? I’d appreciate any info.

  5. SEF says

    My galanthus are quite active – though not fully deployed as yet. The other year one got loose and was on its way out of the garden down the path when I noticed it.

  6. says

    Do viruses have a backbone?

    I am going to draw the line at geology and chemistry, and viruses are kind of getting close, but send it in. The worst that could happen is that I won’t use it.

  7. Elliott says

    I had no idea that there was a phylum named Pogonophora. I thought Pogonophora were people such as P.Z. and myself, who affect beards.

  8. says

    I’d nominate the entire top leadership of the Democratic Party, but I don’t think they quite qualify for this one…

    – Badtux the Snarky Penguin