Although there are numerous sorts of animals, no one knows their exact number. Studying animals and gaining more information about the animal kingdom is easier when they are divided into categories. Every animal in the animal kingdom belongs to one of six animal classes.
Orders, families, genera, and species are all examples of groupings for similar types of animals. Being able to see how different species and animal families are connected also helps with understanding the relationship.
Animalia is the name for the animal kingdom, while Phylum is the largest division. Dogs, tigers, pandas, and elephants are all wild or domesticated forms of animals that most people understand. Insects, fish, invertebrates, and birds are all kinds of creatures. The classes of animals and the species that belong to each one are discussed in this article.
Classification of Animals
Due to certain shared characteristics, animals are usually classified or grouped together in classes or families. Their looks, eating habits, distinguishing characteristics, and behavior may all play a role. Some animals lay eggs, have the ability to fly or swim, and are classified as warm-blooded or cold-blooded.
There may, however, be shared characteristics that bind various animal groups together. Fish, birds, amphibians, and reptiles are just a few examples of animals that lay eggs and swim. The duckbill platypus, for example, is a mammal that lays eggs. Insects and birds, for example, can both fly. Yet, each animal type has at least one distinguishing trait that allows scientists to categorize it.
Vertebrates (animals with backbones) and invertebrates (animals without backbones) are the two categories into which all animal species are divided. Mammalian, bird, fish, reptile, and amphibian are the five most well-known vertebrate groups. The phylum chordata encompasses all of these animals.
The animal kingdom contains a variety of creatures that do not have backbones. The phylum arthropoda (arthropods) includes invertebrates, which are animals. Insects and arachnids (spiders) are two of the most well-known animal phyla in this phylum.
Invertebrates are the most prevalent species of creatures on Earth, despite the fact that vertebrates contain the greatest number of animal groups.
Types of Animals with their Class, Category, and Group
Let’s take a closer look at the six categories of beasts that live on our planet. Fish, birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians are the five most well-known vertebrate (animal with backbone) groups. Invertebrates (animals without a backbone) are the sixth class.
Vertebrates that live in water are known as fish. Fish are aquatic vertebrates in the phylum Chordata and Subphylum Vertebrata, and they are cold-blooded creatures. Because they have scales, fins, and gills, fish are easily distinguished from other animals. Fish must swim in water that is appropriate temperature to manage their bodily temperature since they are cold-blooded creatures.
The largest group of animals that live in seas, oceans, lakes, and rivers is the fish group. Fish must spend all of their time in the water unlike amphibians, which can live on both land and water. Fish utilize their gills to breathe and obtain oxygen from water, even though they can breathe air.
From shallow ponds to the deepest depths of the ocean, there are over 33,600 species of fish that live in bodies of water. Fish species outnumber any other group of vertebrates on the planet, according to certain estimates. Cartilaginous fish have the most diverse species.
Whale sharks, basking sharks, and other large swimming creatures are among them. One of the largest species of bony fish in the oceans is the beluga (sturgeon). A few millimeters long is the size of some of the tiniest fish. It’s worth remembering that just because an animal lives its whole life in the water, it doesn’t mean it belongs to the fish kingdom.
whales, for instance, are classified as members of the Mammalia class because they feed their young milk. They have lungs and must come up to the water’s surface for air, unlike fish. Bony fish are the most common kind of fish that people eat. Salmon, pollock, cod, mackerel, and tuna are among the fish species.
Birds are warm-blooded animals that belong to the Phylum Chordata and class Aves. Birds with feathers are classified as a category of birds. Feathers are unique to birds, and they are the only creatures with them. Other kinds of animals have those features in common, even though most birds fly and begin life as an egg.
The phylum Chordata and the class of Aves are where birds belong. Warm-blooded animals make up this group of winged avian animals. Because of their beak, wings, feathers, and the fact that they begin life in an egg, most birds are easy to identify.
There are approximately 18,000 different species of birds, according to estimates. The enormous flightless ostrich, which stands over 9 feet (2.75 meters) tall, is one of the largest birds in the world, while the tiny hummingbird is one of the tiniest. Birds, like all animals, are also some of the most beautiful. Parrots, birds of paradise, ducks, wrens, finches, and peacocks may be gorgeous yellow, blue, red, green, or orange colors for example.
Birds that you wouldn’t normally classify as birds may also be found. The penguins, a family of birds known as Spheniscidae, are one example of such a species. This species’ genera are found all over South America and the Southern Hemisphere. They are birds, despite the fact that they can’t fly and spend a lot of time swimming.
Some people wrongly believe birds are mammals when it comes to the right categorization of birds. There are significant distinctions between birds and mammals, despite both having backsbones and being warm-blooded. Birds have a beak, whereas humans have teeth.
Birds aren’t mammals since they don’t lactate or give birth to their young. For humans, birds are a major source of food. Poultry, for example, contain less fat than red meat such as cow and pig and eggs contain a lot of protein.
Mammalian are warm-blooded animals that belong to the Mammalia class. Dogs, cats, rabbits, and even pigs are kept as pets by humans. Surprisingly, the Mammalia class of animals is not the most numerous. In comparison to over 900,000 distinct insect species, there are only around 4,000 different mammalian species.
Mammalian mothers milk is the most prominent distinguishing feature. Warm-blooded vertebrates make up all mammals in the class Mammalia. There are flying and swimming mammals (such as bats and otters and seals) in addition to mammals, which are 2- or 4-legged creatures that live on land.
There are several extremely diverse mammals, even though mammals are not the most numerous of the animal kingdom. Because of at least three characteristics that distinguishes mammals from other creatures, they are easily recognized. Mammalian animals have three middle ear bones, hair or fur, and female mammals produce milk. Mammalian species can tolerate a wide range of temperatures because they are warm-blooded creatures.
Polar bears, Arctic wolves, and Muskox are among the animals that can live in frigid conditions. Mammalian species such as camels, lions, tigers, wildcats, and coyotes may survive in extraordinarily high temperatures on the other end of the spectrum.
Some animals that you might believe are fish are actually mammals, which is a type of animal. Dolphins, whales, and porpoises are three examples of marine mammals. Mamas that dwell in the water (aquatic mammals) feed their young milk, as do moms who live on land.
The duckbill platypus and spiny anteater are two of the most remarkable animals in the world. Although they lay eggs and feed their offspring milk, these fuzzy and spikey creatures are mammals.
Reptiles are cold-blooded vertebrates that have scales on their bodies. They belong to the Reptilia animal group. In the animal subclassification of Chordata, these are the two distinguishing characteristics of this class. Snakes and lizards (Squamata), turtles and tortoises (Testudines), crocodiles and alligators (Crocodilia), and tuataras (from New Zealand) are the four main types of reptiles.
In the taxonomic clade Sauropsida, it is estimated that over 10,000 species of reptiles exist. Reptiles’ body temperature is influenced by their surroundings, as it is in all cold-blooded animals. Reptiles are forced to adopt unique habits as a result of this, such as sitting and waiting for hours. Due to minimal metabolism, this is a technique for conserving energy. Reptiles, such as turtles, geckos, snakes, lizards, and crocodiles, will sit in the sun for hours when they need to warm up. They will seek out a secluded area or dip into water if they need to cool down.
Reptiles’ scaly skin is the most obvious difference between them and other animals. Little, glossy scales like those found on a snake may be found, as well as rough and bumpy scales like those found on a crocodile or caiman. Reptiles with hard shells, such as turtles, have rough scales that protect their hard outer shells. The ability to lay eggs is another defining property of reptiles as a class of creatures. Reptiles emerge from an egg and are not created, which is not unusual for this class.
The class Reptilia should not be confused with amphibians, despite their appearance. Only a few reptile species enjoy being in the water, despite the fact that both classes are cold-blooded. Amphibians exist in both land and water and have gills, lungs, and skin.
Reptiles, such as snakes, have surprisingly dry skin despite their appearance. Reptiles, for example, are popular as pets among many individuals. A well-heated terrarium is ideal for snakes, water dragons, geckos, and chameleons. Insects, crickets, fruits, and greens are the most common foods for reptiles.
Amphibians are cold-blooded vertebrates with gills and lungs (like reptiles). They are members of the Amphibia class of animals. Frogs and Toads (Salientia), Salamanders and Newts (Caudata), and Blindworms (caecilians) are the three subclasses of amphibians.
Frogs are the most common water-loving creatures, and their classes are represented by various species. Amphibians are a group of around 4,000 different species.
The term ‘amphibian,’ which means “both forms of life,” refers to the distinctive capacity of amphibious creatures to live in both water and on land. Amphibians are not mammals that live on land and in water, despite the existence of some species. Fish are not amphibians, despite having gills.
Amphibians, like reptiles, are cold-blooded animals that need certain environmental settings to keep their temperature stable. Frogs and toads deposit their eggs in water, not on land, which is a major distinction from reptiles.
Amphibians don’t have a protective scaly skin, so they produce poisons as a defense mechanism. Amphibians may have slimy or sticky skin that lacks scales, unlike reptiles that feel dry to touch.
The largest group in the animal kingdom is invertebrates, which are animals without a backbone. Insects, mollusks, worms, jellyfish, snails, and squid are among the animals that may be found in this diverse range. Some believe that this animal group accounts for roughly 97% of the world’s animals.
Arthropods are one of the most diverse phyla (plural of phylum) among invertebrates. These are a variety of chilly-blooded creatures that may be found all over the world. Mosquitoes, spiders, butterflies, caterpillars, mites, and ticks are all examples of anthropoid invertebrates that you may not consider animals.
The exoskeleton is another of the distinguishing characteristics of many arthropods. Some arthropods develop hard shell-like structures for protection since they lack a backbone. Crabs, lobsters, and grasshoppers are all examples of animals with an exoskeleton. Insects, which make up the bulk of arthropods, include many of the tiniest invertebrates.
Several mollusks have a soft body, unlike arthropods that are often hard. A hard shell protects certain mollusks, such as snails and oysters. Jellyfish, squid, and octopuses are among the other spineless mollusks with a soft body that live in the sea. In reality, among the biggest and most abundant invertebrates in the class are marine invertebrates. Wasp, mites, and bugs are among the most fascinating of all animals, despite the fact that they are often considered pests.
In addition, many invertebrate species are quite beneficial. Honeybees, for example, manufacture the purest substance imaginable: honey. A delicious meal may be made up entirely of lobsters, crabs, and squid. Caterpillars that are colorful devolve into butterflies that pollinate your garden’s flowers. Good soil requires the presence of worms, insects, and other ‘bugs.’