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Animals that have skeletons and backbone are called vertebrates.

Animals that have skeletons and backbone are called vertebrates. There are different kinds of vertebrates which fall under various classes. These include humans, mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and fish. Before we proceed to vertebrata characteristics, note that Vertebrata falls under phylum Chordata. Other sub-phyla are – Cephalochordata and Urochordata.

Thinking what are the basic features of vertebrates? Read below to know more about it.

Even though different types of vertebrates across the world includes approximately 65,000 species, it does not amount to more than 3% animals on the face of Earth. Hence most animal species in our world are actually invertebrates!

Find out more about classification of vertebrates with examples.

Mammals have a four-chambered heart and warm blood. Usually, they give birth to their offspring, but exceptions like Echidna can also be found, which reproduces by laying eggs. Habitation of such vertebrates is varied. Mammary glands are present for feeding the younger ones. Mammals have functional limbs and external pinna. Fertilisation in these vertebrates is usually internal. Examples – kangaroo, dolphin, whale, platypus.

Birds fall under this class of the vertebra. The distinctive feature of Aves is the feather-covered body and forelimbs that evolved as wings for flight. Exception in this regard is Ostrich, which cannot fly. Bones have air cavities, and additional chambers can be found in the digestive tract. Example – vulture, pigeon, crow etc.

The body of reptiles are covered by scutes or scales, and in some instances, the epidermal scales can be cast-off as well. There are no external pinna and tympanum performs the auditory functions. Reptiles have three-chambered hearts, except crocodiles, in which it is four-chambered. As opposed to other vertebrates, reptiles are cold-blooded animals. Examples – tortoise, turtle, crocodile, snake etc.

Amphibians are both terrestrial and aquatic animals. Tympanum acts as ear, and the body is covered by moist skin without scales. Cloaca acts as a common opening to the reproductive tract, urinary tract and alimentary canal. Respiration is through both lungs and gills, and the heart is three-chambered. Examples – salamander, tree-frog, toad etc.

This class includes fish with scales all over the body. These vertebrates are oviparous, and respiration takes place only through gills. Fish have two-chambered hearts, and the skeleton is made entirely of cartilage. Exception being sharks with a skeleton made up of both cartilage and bone. Test Your Knowledge 

(a) Birds (b) Mammals (c) Reptiles (d) Arthropods Ans. (d) Arthropods

(a) Sloth (b) Armadillo (c) Whale (d) Shark Ans. (d) Shark You can find out more about related topics from online study materials available over StudySolver’s platform. All you have to do is to install the app in your preferred device! Master our course materials and ace your exams with ease.

Ans. Primary characteristics of vertebrates are – presence of vertebral column, and a differentiated tubular brain. The body is also divided into tail and trunk regions.

Ans. There are a total of six classes of vertebrates. Mammals and birds are two classes of vertebrates.

Ans. As part of chordates, some features of vertebrates remains the same. Those include dorsal nerve cord, notochord, post-anal tail and pharyngeal slits.

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