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Science College, General Science Dept


The Animal Kingdom

Hello students. My name is Razzmatazz and today I will be teaching you all about the animal kingdom.

What is an animal? As a general rule, animals can move, unlike plants that are held in one place by their roots. Animals are not able to make their own food. They must eat plants or other animals to survive. Some live on dry land, others on water. Some have two legs, four legs, six legs or even hundreds.

Animals with similar body characteristics are grouped together in different categories. There are two main groups of animals; vertebrates and invertebrates. Vertebrates have a backbone, but invertebrates do not. Ninety-six percent of all animals are invertebrates. Here are some examples of different types of animals.



Protozoans: These are single celled organisms that move by floating or waving hair-like organs located on their bodies. An amoeba is a type of protozoan.

Porifera: They are the most primitive of all multi-cellular animals. They live in fresh or salt water. They can make their own food but are unable to move from place to place. Sponges are an example of this group.

Annelids: They have soft flat bodies. Worms that have long bodies made up of segments are annelids. They have soft bodies with no hard skeletons. Examples are earthworms, leeches and lugworms.

Mollusks: Soft bodied animals that live in hard shells. They include such animals as clams, snails, and octopus.

Arthropods: This is the largest group of invertebrates. They have segmented bodies supported by a hard external skeleton. They are millipedes, centipedes, spiders, lobsters and crabs.

Echinoderms: These animals live in seawater and have external skeletons. Examples are starfish and sea urchins.

Platyhelminthes: They have soft, thin, flat bodies. Most live as parasites in other animals. They include tapeworms and flukes.

Insects: There are about one million known types of insects and probably another million we have not identified yet. Insects comprise 80% of all known animals. Some examples are bees, hornets, grasshoppers, dragonflies and ants.


Fish: Now stop smacking your lips and listen. Fish first appeared in the oceans about 540 million years ago. They are able to breathe underwater by using their gills. Some fish can live in both fresh and salt water, but most fish; about 60% live in salt water. The giant catfish is the largest freshwater fish. They can be as big as 18 feet. The largest of all fish is the whale shark, a whopping 60 feet in length with a weight of 15 tons. The smallest fish is the dwarf goby that lives in the Pacific Ocean. They are only about 0.3 inches long.

Amphibians: These are relatively small group of cold-blooded vertebrate animals and include over 3000 species. Many of them are water creatures. Others live on land, in trees and in deserts. Most need water to survive, such as a river, a pond or a droplet on a leaf to lay their eggs. Several types of amphibians are frogs, toads, newts and salamanders.

Reptiles: These cold-blooded animals breath with their lungs, have scales and most lay eggs. They include lizards, turtles and alligators.

Birds: These animals are warm-blooded, lay eggs and have feathers and wings. Most are able to fly. Owls, parrots, and robins are all birds.

Mammals: These are warm-blooded animals that feed their young with mother's milk. Most are born live from the mother and have body hair or fur. Dogs, cats, whales, humans and bats are all mammals.

That's the end of the class for today, students. Thanks for taking the class with me. Good luck on the exam.

CLAW University, Science College

Animal Kingdom | Anthropology | Archaeology | Botany 1 | Botany 2 | Environmental Friendliness | Geography | Hunting for Flying Flowers | Introduction To Feline Genetics | Introduction to the Sciences | The Plant Kingdom | Scientific Method | Smell and Taste 1 | Smell and Taste 2 | The Solar System | Zoology of Felidae


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Monday, 18-Aug-2003 19:58:09 EDT