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R.H. Whittaker organized organisms into five kingdoms. He classified organisms based on cell structure, mode, and source of nutrition and body design. The five kingdoms proposed by Whittaker are Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia. Let us learn about the animal kingdom, i.e., Kingdom Animalia.

Kingdom Animalia constitutes all animals. Amongst the five kingdoms, the largest kingdom is the animal kingdom. Animals are multicellular eukaryotes. However, like plants, they do not possess chlorophyll or a cell wall. Therefore, members of the animal kingdom exhibit a heterotrophic mode of nutrition. Kingdom Animalia has been classified into ten different subphyla based on their body design or differentiation.

The different phylum of the animal kingdom are as follows:

Porifera means organisms with holes. They are commonly known as Sponges. Features of the poriferan are:

Example of phylum Porifera includes- Spongilla, Sycon.

The term Coelenteratais derived from the Greek word “kilos” which means hollow-bellied. Their features are:

Example of phylum Coelenterata includes – Hydra, Jellyfish.

Platyhelminthes are commonly known as flatworms. Their features are:

Example of phylum Platyhelminthes includes -Tapeworm, Planaria.

Phylum Nematoda consists of nematodes or roundworms. Their features are:

Example of phylum Nematoda includes – Ascaris, Wuchereria.

Annelids are commonly known as segmented or ringed worms. They have the following features:

Example of phylum Annelida includes – Earthworm, Leech.

Arthropod means jointed legs. Animals which have jointed appendages belong to this phylum. This is the largest phylum in the animal kingdom. Other features are:

Example of phylum Arthropoda includes – Spiders, butterflies, and mosquitoes.

Phylum Mollusca consists of a large group of animals. Features are:

Example of phylum Mollusca includes- Snails and octopus.

The term Echinodermata is derived from the Greek words,  echinos  meaning hedgehog and  derma  meaning skin. Thus, echinoderms are spiny-skinned animals.

Example of phylum Echinodermata includes- Sea urchins, starfish.

The characteristics of phylum Hemichordata are as follows:

The Chordates possess the following characteristics:

Phylum Chordata can be divided into the following sub-phyla:

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