There are millions of distinct animal species, and as scientists learn new facts, the number of species is really changing constantly.
The six major animal groupings or classifications, however, never change. In this post, we’ll discuss the six major animal categories and how they differ from one another.
Let’s get started straight now without wasting any time!
There are several animal families in each order, and they all share many characteristics. Animal families in the Carnivora order include the Felidae (Cats), Canidae (Dogs), Ursidae (Bears), and Mustelidae (Weasels).
Classification of Animals
Animals are typically categorized into classes or groups based on specific traits they have in common. Depending on their appearance, dietary habits, distinguishing characteristics, or personality. Animals can be classified as warm-blooded or cold-blooded, and some can fly or swim as well as lay eggs.
However, there could be characteristics that classify animals from several animal groups together. Animals like fish, birds, amphibians, and reptiles, for instance, all lay eggs, and many of them can swim. Even an animal that lays eggs exists: the duckbill platypus.
Animals belonging to other classifications, like insects and birds, may also fly. But each sort of animal has at least one distinctive quality that enables classification by scientists.
Animal Species Names
The names of each species within a genus are derived from those attributes and traits. Animal names are derived from Latin and are made up of two words. The genus of an animal will be the first word in its name, and the second term will identify the particular species.
Carl Linnaeus created this system for classifying animal species’ scientific names in the 1700s. For instance, the name of a species of dolphin is Delphinus Delphis. The Vulpes vulpes is a red fox. This red fox classification diagram is an illustration of Linnaean Taxonomy.
Vertebrata (animals having backbones) and invertebrates are the two classifications used to categorize all animal species (animals without backbones).
Mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians are the five vertebrate groups that are best known to the general public. The phylum chordata is the home of all of these creatures.
The animal kingdom has a wide variety of species that lack backbones. These creatures are known as invertebrates and are classified as members of the phylum Arthropoda (arthropods). Insects and arachnids are two of the most well-known animal subclasses in this phylum (spiders).
Invertebrates make up the majority of animal species worldwide, despite vertebrates having the most animal classifications.
Animal Classification: The Six Different Animal Kingdoms
There are six main categories within the animal kingdom that may be used to group all living things. Each animal kingdom has the following traits:
Animals are a sophisticated, multicellular kingdom of non-autotrophic creatures. All animals, both extant and extinct, are members of this kingdom. Elephants, whales, and humans are among examples.
Plants are sophisticated multicellular autotrophic creatures that synthesize their own sustenance through photosynthesis. Grass, flowers, and trees are a few examples.
Fungi – Multicellular creatures that, in contrast to plants, do not manufacture their own sustenance. Examples include yeast, fungi, and molds.
Single-celled creatures called protozoa are more complicated than either eubacteria or archaebacteria. Algae and amoebas are two examples.
Single-celled organisms known as eubacteria may be found in everything from yogurt to your intestines. All bacteria on Earth that aren’t classified archaebacteria belong to this kingdom.
The oldest known living creatures are called archaebacteria. a single-celled organism that inhabits hazardous and sweltering environments such as thermal vents or hot springs.
Types of Animals with their Class, Category, and Group
Let’s take a closer look at the six primary groups of creatures that live on our planet. Fish, birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians are the five most well-known vertebrate (animals having backbones) classes. Invertebrates make up the sixth class (animals lacking a backbone).
There is a group of animals without a backbone known as invertebrates. Arthropods, such as insects, as well as mollusks, worms, jellyfish, snails, and squid can be found among this varied group of creatures. Some estimate that this category of animal species makes up roughly 97 percent of all the animals in the world.
Arthropods are one of the biggest phyla (plural of phylum) of all invertebrate animals. There are a variety of these cold-blooded creatures all across the place you dwell.
Mosquitoes, spiders, butterflies, caterpillars, mites, and ticks are all examples of invertebrates that are anthropoid creatures, despite the fact that you would not think of them as such.
The exoskeleton is another one of many arthropods’ distinguishing characteristics. Arthropods lack a backbone, thus some of them develop protective coverings resembling hard shells. Crabs, lobsters, and grasshoppers are a few examples of creatures possessing exoskeletons. The bulk of arthropods, which make up the tiniest invertebrates, are insects.
Many mollusks have a soft body, in contrast to arthropods, which frequently have a hard outer body. The hard shells of some mollusk species, such snails and oysters, provide protection.
Other soft-bodied marine mollusks without spines include jellyfish, squid, and octopuses. In reality, among marine invertebrate species, marine invertebrates are among the biggest and most numerous.
Although invertebrates like wasps, mites, and bugs are sometimes considered pests, they are also some of the most fascinating creatures on the planet.
Numerous invertebrate species are also extremely beneficial creatures. One of the cleanest foods, honey, is produced by honeybees. Crabs, lobsters, and squid may all be the star of a delectable supper.
Beautiful butterflies that pollinate the flowers in your garden are created from colorful caterpillars. For healthy plant growth, worms, insects, and other “bugs” are crucial to healthy soil.
Fish are aquatic creatures that belong to the phylum Chordata with other vertebrates. The scales, fins, and gills that fish have set them apart from other creatures. Fish must swim in water that is the proper temperature to regulate their body temperature because they are cold-blooded creatures.
The majority of creatures that live in lakes, rivers, seas, and oceans are classified as fish. Fish must spend their whole lives in the water, as opposed to amphibians, who may live on both land and water. Despite having the ability to breathe air, most fish breathe through their gills, which draw oxygen from the water, to do so.
Fish may be found in water bodies ranging in depth from tiny ponds to the deepest regions of the ocean in an estimated 33,600 different species. There are more species of fish than any other class of vertebrates, according to some estimates.
Carilaginous fish are among the biggest fish species. Whale sharks, basking sharks, and other shark species are among these enormous swimming creatures. One of the biggest bony fish species that inhabits the oceans is the beluga (sturgeon). Some of the tiniest fish have a length of only a few millimeters.
It’s important to keep in mind that just because an animal lives in water doesn’t mean that it automatically belongs to the fish kingdom. For instance, because they give their young milk, whales are a member of the Mammalia order of animals. They have lungs, unlike fish, and must ascend to the surface of the water to breathe.
Fish from the bony fish families are the most frequently consumed fish species. These include fish species including tuna, salmon, pollock, cod, and mackerel.
Since humans are animals too, we should all be familiar with them! Animals classified as mammals are considered the most “advanced” since many of them have highly developed intelligence.
Mammals are most frequently identified by having hair or fur, giving live birth to children, producing milk via mammary glands, having warm-bloodedness, and possessing sweat glands.
There are often exceptions to the norm, and not all animals exhibit these traits. As an illustration, certain animals lay eggs. However, all mammals have three inner ear bones as well as hair or fur and mammary glands, which enable them to make milk. The class Mammalia only possesses these characteristics.
The chimpanzee, sometimes known as a chimp, is a highly intelligent animal and one of our closest living cousins. A threatened species, chimpanzees are only found in sub-Saharan Africa’s tropical regions.
These big apes live in communities with other chimpanzees and are extremely sociable creatures. In these communities, hierarchies are frequently controlled by men.
The chimpanzee, sometimes known as a chimp, is a highly intelligent animal and one of our closest living cousins. A threatened species, chimpanzees are only found in sub-Saharan Africa’s tropical regions. These big apes live in communities with other chimpanzees and are extremely sociable creatures. In these communities, hierarchies are frequently controlled by men.
Scaly, cold-blooded creatures are referred to as reptiles. These are the two characteristics that make up the class Reptilia in the animal subclass Chordata.
Snakes and lizards (Squamata), turtles and tortoises (Testudines), crocodiles and alligators (Crocodilia), and tuataras are the four main subgroups of reptiles (from New Zealand).
The taxonomic group Sauropsida is expected to contain more than 10,000 species of animals that are categorized as reptiles.
The environment regulates the body temperature of reptiles, just like it does for other cold-blooded species. Reptiles have a distinctive habit as a result, allowing them to wait for long periods of time.
This method conserves energy because of a slow metabolism. Therefore, reptiles like turtles, geckos, snakes, lizards, and crocodiles would remain in the sun for hours to warm themselves. They will move to a shaded area or go into water if they need to cool off.
Reptiles are characterized mostly by their scaly skin. These scales might be rough and hard, like those on a crocodile or caiman, or they can be tiny and polished like those on a snake. Additionally, turtles and other reptiles with hard shells have horny scales covering their hard outer shells.
The fact that reptiles produce eggs is another characteristic that distinguishes them from other species. Reptiles hatch from an egg rather of being born, despite the fact that this is not specific to this class.
Reptilia are a distinct class from amphibians despite having a similar appearance. Even though both kinds of reptiles have cold blood, only a few species like the water. Amphibians are land and water-dwelling animals with gills and lungs. Snakes and other reptiles may appear slimy, yet their skin is surprisingly dry.
Exotic creatures like reptiles are popular among pet owners. In a warm terrarium, snakes, water dragons, geckos, and chameleons all thrive. In general, reptiles eat fruit, greens, insects, crickets, and insects.
Although they are sometimes grouped alongside reptiles, amphibians are in fact a distinct biological order! Frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, and a peculiar species of snake-like amphibians known as caecilians are all included in the amphibian class.
These creatures all have soft, wet skin that lacks scales, which they employ to absorb water and exchange gases with their surroundings. They are particularly vulnerable to environmental contaminants because of how transparent their skin is. Amphibians are ectotherms, which means they lack the ability to control their own body temperature, like reptiles.
The fact that amphibians have complicated life cycles with larval stages is one important trait they have in common. All amphibians are oviparous, which means they lay eggs rather than giving birth live, and many amphibians reproduce by external fertilization. Many animals use vocalizations to attract mates (croaking and ribbiting).
Due to the existence of poison glands on their skin, several species of frogs or toads are extremely toxic. In fact, due to the extremely deadly poison that one species of frog secretes, the Golden Poison frog may be among the most hazardous creatures in the entire planet.