Quiz: how well do you know fossil invertebrates?

Question 1

In the past, people thought sponges were:




Two fossilised sponges on white background

Question 2

Corals are made up of small animals that look like tiny sea anemones. These animals are called:




Fossil zooids of a coral on white background

Question 3

Question 4

Many molluscs have shells made of calcium carbonate. Is it true that:

Gastropods have internal shells

Cuttlefish have external shells

Ammonites have external shells

Lateral and dorsal view of a fossil solitary coral

Question 5

Gastropods are common molluscs. Everybody knows at least one gastropod, it is:

The common garden snail

The crested newt

The giant millipede

Fossilised gastropod preserved in rock

Question 6

Cephalopods are important molluscs that include:

Snails, slugs and limpets

Ammonites, squid and nautiloids

Cockles, mussels and clams

Fossil cephalopod on white background

Question 7

Nautiloids are the only cephalopods alive today with external shells. These shells are:

Straight, with gas filled chambers

Coiled, with no chambers

Coiled, with gas filled chambers


External lateral view of the shell of Nautilus


Question 8

Ammonites are common fossils in England. Many years ago people who found ammonites thought they were:

Fossilised cow pats

Snakes, magically turned to stone

Crushed snail shells

External view of an ammonite with visible septa lines

Question 9

Ammonites are extinct, but they are closly related to Nautilus, so we think that they lived in a similar way. Ammonites probably:

Floated in the oceans, eating shrimp

Lived on land, eating plants

Lived in freshwater, eating shrimp

Lateral view of an ammonite on white background

Question 10

Some belemnite fossils have been found that show their soft tissues. From these we can see that they:

Were purple with pink spots

Looked liked modern squid

Made clicking sounds as they swam

Two black fossil belemnites on white background

Question 11

Bivalves can attach themselves to hard surfaces, bore into rock, or even swim. We can tell how fossil bivalves lived by looking at:

The ligament between their shells

The animal's soft tissue

The shape of their shells

Fossil bivalve preserved in stone

Question 12

Brachiopods are quite rare today. In Britain, they are only found in:

Deep English lakes

A few Scottish sea-lochs

Welsh mountain streams

Tongue-shaped shells of Lingula brachiopod, internal and external view

Question 13

Arthropods are an important group of animals which includes insects and crustaceans. Is it true that arthropods have:

A tough, jointed exoskeleton

A tough, jointed endoskeleton

A tough, fused exoskeletons

Fossil lobster specimen on white background

Question 14

Most trilobite fossils are only fragments of their exoskeletons. This is because, like other arthropods, trilobites grew by:

Puffing their bodies up

Shedding their exoskeleton

Growing more legs

Fossil trilobite preserved in white rock

Question 15

Eurypterids, or sea-scorpions, lived mainly in coastal lagoons and freshwater. They are closely related to:

Lobsters and crabs

Beetles and bugs

Spiders and scorpions

Eurypterid fossil specimen on white background

Question 16

Horseshoe crabs are sometimes called living fossils, because they:

Are living animals made of stone

Haven't changed in millions of years

Are easily fossilised today

Limulidae fossil specimen on white bakground

Question 17

Amber, containing insects that lived at the same time as the dinosaurs, has recently been found on:

The Isle of Man

The Isle of Wight

The Isle of Dogs

A group of fossilised insects preserved in amber

Question 18

Lobsters, crabs and shrimp are all crustaceans. A small animal you often find in the garden is also a crustacean. It is:

The woodlouse

The honeybee

The spider

Crab on white background

Question 19

Graptolites are normally found in dark mudstones and shales. They look quite different from many other fossils - their name means:

Drawing in the sand

Swirling in the water

Writing on the rock


Fossil graptolites fossils preserved in rock

Question 20

Echinoderms often have an obvious five-way symmetry. This means that animals like starfish usually have:

Two legs

Five arms

Thirteen fingers

Fossil sea urchin on white background