Beyond The Basics

Wonderful World of Critter Watching

The PADI Invertebrate ID Specialty Course
Did you every wonder what all the things moving around underwater are that are not fish are? Are all those plants and things, really plants or animals? The course is an introduction for recreational divers to common invertebrates and alga species in California. It is the first step toward becoming a citizen scientist and a steward of the ocean.

The Fun Part

Invertebrates make up the majority of all living species.  Here's some amazing facts about the many diverse invertebrates in our world including:

  • The largest of the invertebrates is the colossal squid. It can grow to over 40 feet long and weigh over 1,000 pounds. 
  • The longest invertebrate is the ribbon worm which can grow to 180 feet long. 
  • The smallest invertebrate is the rotifer, or wheel animal, which can be as small as 50um. Way too small to see with just your eyes. 
  • What is the only hard body part of an octopus?
  • What invertebrates do not have heads? 
  • Do you know that there are likely millions of invertebrates living in your house right now. They are called dust mites and you can't see them.
  • When a crustacean outgrows its shell, it sheds the shell and grows a new one.
  • Did you know that Lobsters, crabs, and shrimp all have 10 legs. The front two legs have pincers they can use to catch food and fight off predators.

What You Learn

An introduction to nine Phyla (phylum: a category used in classifying animals and plants), 63 commonly seen invertebrates (animals without backbones), alga, common names, scientific names, and survey techniques. This is a companion course to the PADI Fish ID Specialty.

The Scuba Gear You Use
You will need your personal gear (Mask, Fins, Snorkel, Booties, Gloves, Gear Bag), and full scuba gear (BCD, Reg., wetsuit, weights, cylinder, etc.)  Also you'll want a Log Book, Medium/Large Slate or U/W Notebook, Cutting Tool & Compass. A dive light, surface marker buoy/safety sausage are strongly recommended. Rental of scuba gear is 50% off during the course. Check with Malibu Divers about gear rentals and packages offered with this course. You can find most everything here.

Learning Materials
Several good reference books are available and we'll be referring to them during the course.  We like the Guide to Marine Invertebrates: Alaska to Baja by Daniel W. Gotshall.

You must be at least:

Minimum Age for this Course: 12 years old 

* Minimum pre-requisite certification level: (Jr) Open Water or equivalent.

Your Next Adventure
This Specialty course counts toward certifications recommended for Master Scuba Diver and Scientific Research Diver program: Digital U/W Photo, U/W Naturalist, U/W Navigation, Search & Recovery, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Night, National Geographic, Deep and Project Aware.

For more information