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The 9 Major Phyla of the Animal Kingdom

An overview of the major Animal phyla, designed for Life Science students.

Lynne Gianelos

on 14 March 2016

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Transcript of The 9 Major Phyla of the Animal Kingdom

Brought to you by Senor Owl
The 9 Major Phyla of the Animal Kingdom
Phylum Porifera
Our first stop is with the phylum Porifera. Members of this phyla are
(they have no backbone) and are the simplest of all animals. You know them as sea sponges and almost all poriferans live in salt water. Sea sponges feed on plankton and are sessile (they attach to something and stay put for life).
Phylum Cnidaria
"Cnidaria" means "stinging cells" and that's what these creatures are all about! Cnidarians only have one way for food and waste to enter or exit their hollow guts. Many are marine, but some live in freshwater. Some of the stars of this phylum are jellyfish, hydra and sea anemones. Check out the pics and be sure to watch the video of nematocysts (stinging cells).
Phylum Mollusca
Members of this phylum are real softies! That's because "mollusca" means "soft body" and that's what they all have. They make a protective covering called a "mantle" and many mollusks make a hard shell. Some popular mollusks are clams, snails, scallops, oysters, squid and octopi (not octopuses!).
Hola, Amigos! I am Senor Owl and I am your tour guide for your journey through the 9 major Phyla of the Animal Kingdom! I know you are familiar with animals like me and my friends in the deciduous forest, but there is a whole world of animals out there that you have never seen! Vamanos!
Watch nematcysts in action!
Phylum Echinodermata
"Echinodermata" means spiny skin. These invertebrates live in the ocean and use their hard skin for protection. They have radial symmetry, usually with arms surrounding a central body. Using one opening, they feed as well as excrete waste. Echinoderms you may know are starfish, sea urchins, and sand dollars.
Phylum Platyhelminthes
Welcome to Worm Land! The next three phyla are wiggly, squiggly fun! Our first and simplest worm phylum is Platyhelminthes, or flat worms. Our old friends the planaria are part of this aquatic dwelling group. While they were kind of drab and boring, other flat worms can be colorful and exotic. Remember the saying: "Platy is flatty!
Phylum Nematoda
On our second stop in Worm Land, we have the disgusting, vile, all around ewwwww phylum Nematoda. For all of you "grosser than gross" fans, this one's for you! Nematodes are frequently parasitic worms that cause disease in both plants and other animals. They still have only one opening for food and waste, so they are simple creatures. Tapeworms and the trichina worm (think "trichinosis") are here.
Phylum Annelida
This is my favorite stop in Worm Land! I get to visit my old friend the earthworm and maybe get a bite to eat! That's right, Annelids are segmented worms, like earthworms. They are a major step forward because this is the first phylum where members have both a mouth and an anus! They also have organ systems unlike the previous phyla. Other examples are leeches and sand worms.
Phylum Arthropoda
Believe it or not, 75% of the entire animal kingdom is right here in phylum Arthropoda! Arthropods include all insects, spiders and crustaceans so it is a HUGE phylum. Arthropods are known for having protective exoskeletons and segmented legs. Arthropod actually means "jointed foot." Some have 6 legs, 8 legs or even 10 legs but none of them have a backbone.
Phylum Chordata
Are you feeling more at home? I know I am! You are now in your own phylum Chordata which holds all animals with a backbone, otherwise known as "vertebrates." This phylum includes reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals, including you! This phylum is the most complex, with organisms that have multiple organ systems including higher nervous systems (which include brains).
A few lovelies from...
soybean worm
Thanks for joining me through this fantastic journey through the Animal Kingdom!
Adios Amigos!
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