They make up 99 percent of all known living species, but after this Saturday, invertebrates won't be on display at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.
The Invertebrate Exhibit at the zoo was closed Monday to give employees a chance to adjust to the sudden news that the exhibit will close for good after this coming Saturday.
Zoo Director Dennis Kelly calls it a "very difficult decision."
He says the zoo is doing what any household has to do: "We're simply trying to live within our means and execute our strategic plan."
The exhibit includes grasshoppers, giant clams, ants and coral.
The invertebrate exhibit opened back in 1987.
Just to get the building and the space back to where it was more than 25 years ago would cost millions of dollars. That is one of the reasons for the closure.
The five employees and many volunteers who work with the invertebrates will be reassigned. No full-time staffers will be laid off.
The zoo hopes years from now, it will open a hall of biodiversity that would include some invertebrates.
READ MORE: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/publications/pressmaterials/pressreleases/press-release.cfm?id=2649
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