The Open Door Web Site
Biodiversity : The Variety of Life on Earth Index
The images hyperlink to more information about each group
The Plant Kingdom
The Animal Kingdom
BIODIVERSITY : PUTTING THINGS INTO GROUPS
The Animal Kingdom
The animal kingdom can be divided into many phyla. There are eight phyla shown: jellyfish, flat worms, round worms, ringed worms, starfish, molluscs, arthropods and the chordate phylum. All but the last phylum, are referred to as invertebrates because they have no skeleton. The last one, the chordate phylum, is made up of animals which have a skeleton. Such animals are called vertebrates.
It is possible to divide a phylum into smaller groups. The arthropod phylum can be divided into groups such as crustaceans and insects. The chordate phylum can be divided up into groups such as fish, reptiles, and mammals.
Arthropod Phylum: Crustaceans: The shore crab
This is a very common animal which is found on all sea shores and even up river estuaries. The shore crab has a green body and it grows to about 10 cm across. The crab uses its claws mainly for defence or for picking up small pieces of food. It feeds by filtering the water or scavenging dead animals. The larvae of these crabs float in the ocean currents as part of the zooplankton but the adults are not very good swimmers they prefer to walk on the bottom.
Arthropod Phylum: Millipedes: The iulid millipede
These are common millipedes with long cylindrical bodies. They burrow deep into the soil and feed on dead leaves and other decaying vegetable matter. The millipedes are not very fast so they cannot easily escape from predators. If they are attacked they roll themselves into a ball and produce a yellow liquid which repels predators.
Arthropod Phylum: Centipedes: The red centipede
Like most centipedes this is a carnivore. The first pair of legs have become claws which inject poison into their prey. The red centipede moves quickly through the leaf litter in to top layer of the soil. It cannot burrow very well into the soil. It is a large European centipede which may grow to 25 mm but in tropical America there is a species which can grow to 260mm.
Arthropod Phylum: Spiders: The argiope spider
This is a large European spider which can be found building its web in long grass during the summer months. It is an unusual web-spinning spider because the female (shown here) is much bigger and more colourful than the male. She can grow to 15 mm long with bright yellow white and black bands on her body. The male is only 4mm long and he has a brown body. The females often eat the males whilst they mate. The female lays her eggs in the autumn, wrapping 17 them in a protective layer of silk 18. The baby spiders hatch soon afterwards but they stay in their cocoon until winter is over.
Arthropod Phylum: Insects: The Colorado beetle
Like all insects, the Colorado beetle has three parts to its body: a head, a thorax, and an abdomen. All insects also have three pairs of legs which distinguish them from spiders which have four pairs. Like many insects, the Colorado beetle has wings and can fly.
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