Marine invertebrates are the most diverse and abundant group of organisms in the ocean. This grouping is not based on a single taxon, but is defined as a group of animals found in the marine environment which lack a vertebral column. This incredible array of animals is found within all the habitats of the sanctuary including the rocky shelves, sand flats, and open ocean. There are hundreds of species of invertebrates in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, such as sponges, urchins, anemones, lobsters, crabs, snails, squid, jellies, and sea stars. Some of these species are of recreational or commercial importance, and most of them play an important role in the ecosystem.

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