Back to Timeline
Back to Student Page
Vertebrates and Invertebrates
Look at these pictures.
How would you classify these animals?
One way to classify them is to describe them as a mammal (a warm blooded animal).
Another way to classify them is to say they are vertebrates or invertebrates. To find out the different groups of classifications click on the following websites:
http://www.kidport.com/RefLib/Science/Animals/AnimalIndexV.htm - Vertebrates
http://www.kidport.com/RefLib/Science/Animals/AnimalIndexInv.htm - Invertebrates
What are Vertebrates? Vertebrates are animals that have a backbone. There are five different types of vertebrates:
Back to Top
Mammals are animals that have hair and feed their babies with mother's milk. Mammals can live in water or on land. Mammals are warm blooded. This means that their body generated it's own heat. Because mammals generate their own heat they can survive in subzero temperatures. Of course, they can also survive in hot climates. Mammals give birth to live young. One thing special about mammals is that they have developed different teeth in their mouth. Think of how your teeth look. You have the the small ones in front, the pointy ones and the flat ones in the back of your mouth. Mammals are the only animal that has different kind of teeth in the same mouth. Other animals have teeth but the teeth in their mouth all look the same. Mammals are also have the biggest brains of all the animals.
Birds are animals that have wings, feathers, and lay eggs. Besides feathers, birds had toothless beaks and hollow bones. Their hollow bones help them to reduce their weight so it is easier for them to fly. Most of them fly, but some, such as the ostrich and chicken cannot. Being able to fly allows birds to lay their eggs in places that are tough for predators to reach. Flying also allows birds to evade predators. All birds live on land. Like mammals birds are warm blooded. This means that birds can also survive in subzero weather. Birds and mammals are the only vertebrates that can survive in subzero weather.
Fish live in oceans, lakes, ponds, and rivers. They all breathe through gills, swim with fins, and have scales all over their bodies. Fish are cold blooded. This means that their body temperature is the same as their environment. the advantage of being cold blooded is that they do not have to eat as much but the disadvantage is that when it is hot they have to find a cooler place and when it is cold their activity slows down. Fish are found in all the eco-regions.
Reptiles are animals that live on land and water. they lay eggs and some, like the snake, shed their skin. reptiles are also cold blooded. Some Reptiles live in the colder eco-regions but they are usually present in the warmer eco-regions. The warmer weather in these regions helps keep the body temperature of the reptile high so that it can be more active. Most reptiles have scales on their body that serves as a type of protection. other reptiles have developed the ability to make poison.
Amphibians are animals that live in water when they are young, and live on land as adults. The amphibians stay close to water their whole life. They lay their eggs in water. When the amphibians are young they have gills. When they get old enough to go on land their gills start to change into lungs. When this process is complete they are able to go on the land. Some adaptations that amphibians have mad have been the development of webbed feet. This helps them to swim better. It is just like putting fins on when you are swimming in a pool with the fins you can go faster.
What is an invertebrate? Invertebrates are animals that do not have a backbone. all animals that are not mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, or amphibians are invertebrates. some invertebrate include:
Back to Top
Warms are animals that live underground. They like dark, wet, places. some worms move around on hundreds of legs while others slide on their bellies. Worms do not have any eyes. They move around by their sense of touch. Earth worms tunnel though the ground absorbing nutrients from the soil. When they burro through the ground they form tunnels that other insects can use. These tunnels also help water and nutrients to filter down from the topsoil.
There are many different kinds of insects such as bees spiders, and ants. each live in different places like hives, and underground. Some insects fly, while others do not. Insects don't have a skeleton like you or I what they have is called and exoskeleton. It means their support for their bodies comes from the coating they have on their body. This outer layer is called and exoskeleton. If you have ever stepped on a beetle the crunching sound you heard was their exoskeleton breaking. Insect are very tough. In every eco-region their will by insects. They are the most abundant life form on the planet.
that you know what vertebrates and invertebrates are, with a partner, write on a
piece of paper the names of these animals and identify whether they are
vertebrates or invertebrates and why.
Back to Top