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The Creek

creekCreeks are another great habitat for animals. Some of the smallest animals you can find in a creek are called macroinvertebrates. Macro means that they are big enough to see with our eyes. Invertebrates means that they do not have a backbone.

photo of rocks along the side of a creekMacroinvertebrates live under rocks on the bottom of the creek, so they are called bottom dwellers.

woman looking at a rock in a streamTo look for macroinvertebrates, step carefully into the stream, turn over the rocks, and look very closely for little bits of movement.

Have a collection container with you so if you find something you can later identify it.

pointing to area on dichotomous keyBy using a dichotomous key, you can identify what kind of you find based on the body parts it has.

Download this dichotomous key to macroinvertebrate life so you can explore and identify macroinvertebrates on your own.

Here is an example of a macroinvertebrate you might find. Can you identify it using the dichotomous key?

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