Animalia Classes-Subphylum Vertebrata

Subphylum Vertebrata

Description: Vertebrates are a diverse group of animals that share a common trait: a vertebral column, which runs from their head to their tail bone and is the basis for the rest of the body's skeletal structure. This skeletal structure, in turn, supports a number of other common features. For example, vertebrates possess multiple layers of skin or other external structures that cover their innards (such as scales) and a very advanced muscular structure. Almost all vertebrates reproduce sexually, like other animals, but their methods of sexual reproduction vary: some lay eggs, others give birth to offspring directly. Vertebrates are actually a very varied subphylum.

Example: A crocodile, a common reptilian vertebrate that populates many habitats



Picture taken from: animaldanger.com








Class Myxini

Description: Members of class Myxini possess a very interesting structure: they possess no spinal column or bone structure outside a skull and tailbone, which leads to some of the most bizarre looking creatures in existence. Many also have the capacity to produce slime as an escape mechanism, allowing them to slip away from the jaws or claws of predators. Little is known about their reproductive tendencies, as most members of class Myxini seem to be female, but researchers are beginning to find evidence that they may be hermaphroditic. 

Example:

Pacific hagfish, a common member of class Myxini that is consumed by many people in Korea as a delicacy.


Taken from: wikipedia.org





Class Cephalospidomorphi

Description: The class cephalospidomorphi is commonly distinguished by jawlessness, coupled with an incredibly large "nasal cavity" that runs throughout their body. This body structure lends itself to a funnel structure, which aids members of cephalospidomorphi in sucking parasitically off of larger host organisms. There is only one member of class cephalospidomorphi: the lamprey. Its reproduction methods, like those of members of class Myxini, are still unknown to researchers.

Example:


Example: A lamprey, the only member of class cephalospidomorphi. Note the rows of teeth and lack of a jaw structure.


Taken from: wikipedia.org



Class Chondricthyes

Description: Members of class Chondrichthyes are cartilaginous organisms. They are jawed, and possess fins and tails for rapid acceleration through water. Most members of the class are aquatic hunters, who hunt fish and other members of their class. Another unique trait to Chondricthytes is a very powerful sense of smell, which aids them in the capture of their prey, as well as sensory organs that allow them notice changes in water pressure.

Example:


The Great White Shark, a well known chondrichthyte that is an impressive underwater predator




Taken from: wikipedia.org



Class Osteichthyes

Description: Osteichthytes are a group of organisms termed "bony fish" that are separated into two classes: ray finned fish and lobe finned fish. Most fish are osteichthytes, and since there are many species of fish, they make up the largest class of vertebrates. They are aquatic organisms that focus on efficient swimming and catching prey and other food sources that are located in their watery habitats, and osteichthytes have developed many unique adaptations for swimming, such as mechanisms to control their temperature. Some are cold-blooded and adjust to the temperature of the water, while others can keep their bodies temperature in homeostasis.

Example:

Xiphias gladius, or the swordfish, is a bony fish renowned for its high speed and distinctive sword-like beak

Taken from: wikipedia.org





Class Amphibia

Description: Amphibians are a diverse group of vertebrates that contain several groups of organisms that appear dissimilar: frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. The main unique feature of this class is that they metamorphose from a juvenile, water dwelling form as they mature, eventually becoming an organism that lives on land and in the water. This change from water-breathing to air-breathing as life progresses marks amphibians as unique.

Example:

 The strawberry poison dart frog, Oophaga pumilio. Many amphibians utilize poison as a natural defense mechanism against predators.



Taken from: wikipedia.org








Class Reptilia

Description: Class Reptilia is a division of vertebrates that consists scaly, cold-blooded predatory animals. In the past, they dominated the world as its most prominent organism in the time of the dinosaurs, but many of them were driven to extinction 65 million years ago, and they have since entered a steady decline. Reptiles reproduce by laying eggs, and there are species that are entirely aquatic as well as species that live on land.


Example:



 An African egg-eating snake, a type of reptile that preys on the offspring of other animals






 Taken from: wikipedia.org




Class Aves

 Description: Class Aves denotes a well known type of vertebrate, which humans refer to as birds. These vertebrates are distinguished by their hollow bones and wings which typically allow flight. Birds also typically have a very high metabolic rate, and need to constantly eat to fuel their high energy requirements. Members of Class Aves also demonstrate a high amount of intelligence, using simple tools and communicating with each other in a cultural context.

Example:

A Red Lory, a playful bird commonly kept in captivity.






 Taken from: wikipedia.org




Class Mammalia

 Description: Mammals are air-breathing vertebrates that are unique in that they possess hair, mammary glands, and a neocortex, which is a special part of the brain that can, in the case of humans, grant higher thought and language skills. Mammals also have sweat glands, as well as specialized teeth not exhibited in other classes of vertebrates. Mammals have a large degree of variation of size and ecological niche, and the class contains everything from small bats to huge blue whales.

Example:

A family of goats, quadrupeds raised by humans for agricultural purposes


Taken from: wikipedia.org




 

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