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VERTEBRATES

 

VERTEBRATES ARE ANIMALS WITH BACKBONES

 

MAMMALS

Warm blooded vertebrate animals which have hair or fur.

Retain the young in their bodies until they are ready to be born. When the young are born they are fed by the mother on milk.

Mammals have a highly developed nervous system. They live on land and in the sea.

There is a very wide range of types in this group.

The largest mammal is the blue whale which often exceeds 30m in length. Shrews, mice and mice which are the smallest are often less than 5cm, excluding their tail.

Human beings are mammals.

 

 
 
 

 

BIRDS

Warm blooded vertebrate animals with wings and bodies covered with feathers for warmth and to help them to fly. Birds have lungs for breathing and a heart with four chambers.

All adult birds are covered in feathers even though some are born naked.

The female lays the eggs and the young hatch from these. The young are cared for by the adult birds until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

 

 

 
 

 

REPTILES

Cold blooded vertebrates. This means they cannot maintain a body temperature much different than their environment.

Most reptiles lay eggs with hard shells. Young fully formed reptiles hatch from the eggs. Reptiles usually lay their eggs in sand.

Some snakes and lizards retain their eggs in their body and give birth to live young.

Young reptiles have to care for themselves from the time they hatch.

A reptile's skin is usually covered with scales.

Reptiles have been on earth for over 300 million years - that is a very long time!

 

 
 

 

AMPHIBIANS

Cold blooded vertebrate animals that generally spend their larval or tadpole stage in fresh water. They do not transfer to the land until they are mature, returning to the water to breed.

Amphibians were the first animals to venture on to land. They emerged from the oceans over 300 million years ago. Frogs, toads and salamanders are amphibians.

 

 

 
 
 

FISH

Cold blooded vertebrate animals that live in water and use gills to obtain oxygen.

Fish live in both fresh and salt water and can be found all over the world, except in some very hot larval springs and the Dead Sea because it is too salty.