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Part I : Introduction : Index

Groups of Animals Chapter Summary (useful for revision)
Groups of Animals ; Questions and Quizzes

Living and Non-living Things

Topic Chapters Index

 

Vertebrate Groups

The images hyperlink to more information about each group.

Lionfish icon

Fish

Frog icon

Amphibians

Snake icon

Reptiles

Falcon icon

Birds

Lion icon

Mammals

Invertebrate Groups

The images hyperlink to more information about each group.

Medusa icon

Jellyfish

Sea slug icon

Molluscs

Starfish icon

Starfish

Earthworm icon

Worms

Arthropods

Swimming crab icon

Crustaceans

Beetle icon (photo by Paul Billiet)

Insects

Giant millipede icon

Myriapods

Tarantula icon

Spiders

 


GROUPS OF ANIMALS

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Vertebrates and Invertebrates

Because there are so many different types of animals in the world biologists have sorted them into groups. This is called classifying. The two main groups of animals are vertebrates and invertebrates.

Vertebrates are all animals with a backbone. Humans have a backbone which is part of their skeleton. A skeleton gives the body support and shape.

Invertebrates are all animals without a backbone. These animals do not have a bony skeleton. All insects are invertebrates. They do have a skeleton but it is on the outside of their bodies and is not made of bone.

These two main groups have been divided into smaller groups. This is called sub-dividing the group.

We must be careful when we make a list of their differences. It is easy to say that all fish swim. The problem is that amphibians, such as the frog, also swim. Whales and dolphins swim and they are mammals. many insects swim. It is easy to think that 'all birds fly' but the ostrich and the penguin do not fly. On the other hand, there is a fish and there is a squirrel which can glide through the air! A lot of insects can fly. Biologists have to be very careful when they decide on reasons for putting animals into groups.

 

 

See also Part XII : Biodiversity : The Variety of Life on Earth

 

 

 

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