The Classification of Animals

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The classification of animals

The Classification of animals : Animal Kingdom can be split up into main groups, vertebrates (with a backbone) and invertebrates (without a backbone). When you think of an animal, you usually think of something like a cat, a dog, a mouse, or a tiger. All told, around 800,000 species have been identified in the Animal Kingdom -- most of them in the Arthropod phylum. In fact, some scientists believe that if we were to identify all species in the tropical rain forests the ranks of Arthropod would swell to over 10 million species! Most people do not normally think of a clam, a jellyfish, or an earthworm as an animal. Yet all of them belong to the kingdom of animals. The science of classifying organisms is called taxonomy. In order to study living things, scientists classify each organism according to its: Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus Species Usually, a species is called by its genus name (capitalized) followed by its species name (lower case), so a human being is called Homo sapiens. In Latin that means wise man. To date there are five kingdoms: Animalia, which is made up of animals; Plantae, which is made up of plants; Protista, which is made up of protists (single-celled creatures invisible to the human eye); Fungi, which is made up of mushrooms, mold, yeast, lichen, etc; and Monera, which is made up of the three types of bacteria. The next category is the Phylum. There are several phyla within each kingdom. The phyla start to break the animals (or plants, fungi, etc) into smaller and more recognizable groups. The best known phylum is Chordata, which contains all animals with backbones (fish, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians). There is also Arthropoda (insects, spiders, crustaceans); Mollusca (snails, squid, clam); Annelida (segmented worms); Echinodermata (starfish, sea urchins) and many, many more. The next category that makes up the phyla is the Class. The class breaks up animals into even more familiar...
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