The animals described as 'small creatures' in our website are in fact all arthropods. Arthropods, like other invertebrate animals, do not possess a backbone or an internal skeleton. Instead, arthropods have a tough external skeleton (exoskeleton) made of chitin. Arthropods also have jointed bodies, jointed legs and jointed antennae. Arthropods are an enormously diverse group of creatures that make up over 80% of the animal species of the world including insects, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, harvestmen and mites.
Crustaceans are also arthropods, but they have not been included in the ‘small creatures’ category because some crustaceans grow very large indeed.
England's largest native small creature is in fact an insect called the Great Green Bush Cricket which can reach up to 5cm in length. Our smallest described small creature is the Red Velvet Mite which only reaches approximately 3mm in size.
Of course we have many 'tiny' creatures such as the microscopic zooplankton and amoeba. These tiny creatures are not arthropods and are described in other sections of our website under sea creatures and pond life.