Vertebrates are characterized by the presence of a vertebra or backbone; a skull; skeletal bones that form an endoskeleton; a bilaterally symmetrical structure; and two pairs of appendages, such as fins, limbs or wings. Vertebrates' organ systems are more developed than those of invertebrates, and their nervous systems are more complex.Continue Reading
Vertebrates are categorized into five groups: mammals, birds, fishes, amphibians and reptiles. They comprise around three percent of more than 1 million animal species.
A vertebrate's central nervous system is composed of a well-developed brain, found in the skull, and a spinal cord encased by the vertebral column. Vertebrates have both axial and appendicular skeletons that combine to make a highly developed internal skeleton. They possess a closed circulatory system, meaning that their blood always flows in blood vessels, and their respiratory system is located close to the throat. Their bodies are separated into ventral and spinal areas, and their skins are covered with protective outgrowths, such as hairs, feathers or scales. Vertebrates' sense organs are also well developed.
Vertebrates thrive in various types of environments. Mammals live in forests, bodies of water and underground. Most birds are capable of flying and are found in forests, near the shore and in open fields. Amphibians primarily live on land but also visit the water for to lay eggs and reproduce. Because fish have gills, they cannot breathe air and can only survive in water.Learn more about Biology
Animals that have an internal skeleton made up of bones are classified as vertebrates. Some examples of animals that fall into the category of vertebrates are humans, bears, frogs and birds.Full Answer >
Reptiles are cold-blooded vertebrates which generally have scales, four limbs with five toes each, and hearts with three or four chambers. Most also lay eggs with leathery shells, which are protected from dessication by an amniotic sac. Reptiles are a diverse group, however, and there are many exceptions to these general characteristics, including species without scales, without limbs or which give live birth rather than laying eggs.Full Answer >
Grasshoppers can be identified by comparing body traits, such as the length of the wings, presence or absence of hair, or distinct coloration of their abdomens and limbs. Size and habitat also gives important clues to the identity of a species.Full Answer >
The muscular systems of humans and frogs share a number of anatomic and biochemical similarities, including the same basic muscle groups, a similar muscle fiber structure and the presence of acetylcholine-based neuromuscular junctions. The myosin and actin protein family present in muscles is also well-conserved between human and frogs.Full Answer >