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Aren't you excited for a trip to the zoo? I can't wait to see all my favorite animals.
How do we classify animals?
When you classify, you sort things into groups to show how they are alike. Because there are many kinds of animals it can help to classify them in different ways All animals are divided into two main groups, vertebrates and invertebrates.
A vertebrate is an animal that has a spine or backbone. People are vertebrates. You can feel your spine going all the way up your back and through your neck. Lions, fish, birds, snakes and even turtles are all vertebrates.
An invertebrate is an animal that does not have a spine. Insects like butterflies and grasshoppers are invertebrates. So are spiders, worms, muscles, starfish and squid.
Most of the world's animals are invertebrates. Scientists classify vertebrates and invertebrates into even more groups.
Hmm… What are mammals?
Mammals are vertebrates that get milk from their mothers when they are very young and have hair or fur.
Right Moby, people are mammals.
Some mammals live in water like whales. But they still have lungs to breathe oxygen so they need to come up for air.They even have hair!
The smallest mammal in the world is the bumblebee bat. It's about the size of a thumb!
Bats are the only mammals that fly like birds but… What are birds?
Birds are vertebrates and they're the only animals that have feathers.
Birds have a beak two wings and two legs. They also lay eggs and most care for their young.
No, Moby not all birds fly! Penguins are flightless bird.
They dive and swim to hunt for fish.
Hmm… What are fish?
Most fish are vertebrates that live in water. Fish have gills to help them breathe and take in oxygen out of the water.
Many have scales, which helped them move through the water.
Sharks and stingrays are also fish. They have gills, but they don't have scales. Their bodies are made out of cartilage. It's the same stuff that's in our nose and ears.
Some animals spend time in water and on land.
What are amphibians?
Amphibians are animals that have adapted to live on water and land.
Right! Frogs are amphibians! They hatch from tiny, soft eggs in the water.
When they're tadpoles, they breathe through gills and live underwater.
As they get older, most frogs grow lungs to help them breathe on land.
Many amphibians can breathe underwater through their skin which takes oxygen
out of the water.
Toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians are all types of amphibians.
Amphibians are cold-blooded.
Not exactly Moby!
Cold-blooded animals use the environment to help control their own body temperatures. They can use heat from the Sun to warm up, or they might use water or shade to cool down.
Insects, most fish, and most reptiles are cold-blooded animals.
What are reptiles?
Reptiles are vertebrates. They breathe using lungs, and their bodies are covered by scales. Most reptiles lay eggs, kind of like birds.
Snakes, lizards, crocodiles and tortoises are all reptiles. Even though sea turtles live in the ocean they're reptiles too. They've adapted to live in their ocean environment. Hmmm… I'm confused.
What kind of animal are you?
You're definitely not a reptile Moby.
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