Which organisms are vertebrates?


Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

Animals that fall into the classification of vertebrate have a skeleton that is made of bones along with a spinal column. The spinal column runs down the back of the animal and is made up of many small, disk-shaped bones called vertebrae. There are approximately 65,000 species on the planet that fall into this category. They include fish, amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles. Also included in the classification are primates, rodents and marsupials as well as seals. Though there is an exceptional variety of them on the Earth, vertebrates account for just three percent of the animals found on the planet.

Vertebrates can be broken down further into cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals. Cold-blooded animals are those that cannot regulate their internal temperature through biological means. Warm-blooded animals, on the other hand, are able to regulate the internal temperature of their bodies without relying on an outside source of heat. Cold-blooded vertebrates include turtles, crocodiles, lizards and tortoises. Warm blooded animals that are classified as vertebrates include monkeys, tigers, dogs, seals and humans.

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