Animals are classified into different groups based on their characteristics. Invertebrates are animals that do not have a spine, or backbone. Vertebrates are animals that do! Vertebrates are further classified into fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
All living things are grouped into 5 kingdoms. In this video we are going to look at the animal kingdom in more detail. There are thought to be over 7.5 million species of animal on planet Earth, of which 900,000 have been described.
These are arranged into over 30 phyla, of which these are the 9 most common: Porifera, Cnidaria, Platyhelminthes, Nematoda, Mollusca, Annelida, Arthropoda, Echinodermata and Chordata.
These are the 5 main animal phyla: Arthropods, annelids, molluscs, nematodes and the chordata.
A big question to ask is “Do they have a backbone?” If yes, they are a vertebrate. If no, they are an invertebrate.
The chordata contain all of the vertebrates. Not all chordates are vertebrates, but all vertebrates are chordates.
There are many different classes of vertebrate, but the 5 most well known ones are the fish, birds, amphibians, mammals, reptiles. Each class has different characteristics that defines them. Like mammals which have fur or hair, feed their young on milk and are warm-blooded. Sometimes people aren’t too sure whether something is a reptile or an amphibian. Reptiles have scaly skin, breathe air and usually live on land - except for turtles. Snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, crocodiles, and alligators are all reptiles. Amphibians live double lives. They start in water and breathe with gills, and as they grow older they grow lungs - Frogs, toads, salamanders.
Once inside a class - so mammals for example - different species are grouped together in even more detail. There are about 5000 species of mammals, classified into 3 subclasses and about 26 orders.
Back to the 5 main animal phyla: Arthropods, annelids, molluscs, nematodes and the chordata.
Arthropods all have a hard exoskeleton, and have jointed legs. Spiders are not insects… they are different classes of arthropods. And, just like in animals these classes break down even further.
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