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6 Basic Animal Groups
Transcript of 6 Basic Animal Groups
Group 3: The Amphibians
Group 4: The Reptiles
Reptiles are cold-blooded vertebrates.
There are about 8,000 species of reptiles alive today.
Reptiles include turtles, squamates, crocodiles, and tuatara. Two characteristics distinguish early reptiles from amphibians: scales and the ability to lay hard-shelled amniotic eggs. Reptiles are also tetrapods (four-legged vertebrates), most of which are ectotherms.
Group 1: The Invertebrates
Invertebrates were the first animals to evolve. A staggering 97 percent of all species alive today are invertebrates.The most notable characteristic of invertebrates is that they have no backbone.
Invertebrates include animal groups such as sponges, cnidarians, flatworms, mollusks, arthropods, segmented worms, and echinoderms as well as many other lesser-known groups of animals.
Group 2: The Fishes
Fishes were some of the the first vertebrates to evolve from invertebrate ancestors.
There are an estimated 25,000 species of fishes alive today.
Fishes include the bony fishes, cartilaginous fishes, lampreys, and hagfishes. Fishes are vertebrates—which means that like birds, amphibians, mammals, and reptiles, they have a backbone. Fishes were the first vertebrates to evolve jaws and they breath using gills. Fish have no limbs and most are ectothermic.
Amphibians were the first vertebrates to transition from living in water to living on dry land (or at least moist land). Today, there are between 5,000 and 6,000 species of amphibians.
Amphibians includes newts, salamanders, toads, frogs, and caecilians. Amphibians—like fishes, mammals, birds, and reptiles—are vertebrates. They have four legs, a characteristic that means they are also tetrapods. Amphibians are ectothermic and their life cycle includes an aquatic larval stage.
Group 5: The Mammals
Mammals are vertebrates that evolved from therapsid reptiles during the Jurassic Period.
Some of the better-known mammal groups include carnivores, rodents, elephants, marsupials, rabbits, bats, primates, seals, anteaters, cetaceans, odd-toed ungulates and even-toed ungulates. Mammals possess a number of characteristics that are uniquely theirs including hair, mammary glands, and a lower jaw that consists of a single bone.
Birds evolved from reptiles during the Mesozoic Era about 150 million years ago.
Some of the better-known bird groups include birds of prey, flamingos, perching birds, gamebirds, pigeons and doves, hummingbirds, owls, pelicans, and penguins. Birds, best known for their ability to fly, remain unmatched in their command of the skies.
Group 6: The Birds
Let's Start Simple...
Although scientists identify many groups of animals, it helps to keep things simple at first. We'll focus on just six basic groups to begin with. These six basic animal groups include: amphibians, birds, fish, invertebrates, mammals, and reptiles.
When you have a understanding of these six groups, you'll be on your way to grasping the basic characteristics of virtually every animal on the planet.
Information taken from:
Laura Klappenbach (s.f.) The 6 Basic Animal Groups. Retrieved from: http://animals.about.com/od/animal-facts/ss/The-6-Basic-Animal-Groups.htm#step1
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