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Protozoa (from the Greek words proto, meaning "first", and zoa, meaning "animals") is a grouping of eukaryotes, many of which are motile. Terminology The word protozoan was originally an adjective but can also be used as a noun. Protozoans are referred to generally as animal-like protists because of movement (motile). However, both protozoa and protists are paraphyletic groups (not including all genetic relatives of the group). For example, Entamoeba is more closely related to humans than to Euglena. "Protozoa" is considered an outdated classification in more formal contexts. However, the term is still used in children's education. While there is no exact definition for the term protozoan, it often refers to a unicellular heterotrophic protist, such as the amoeba and ciliates. The term algae is used for microorganisms that photosynthesize. However, the distinction between protozoa and algae is often vague. For example, the algae Dinobryon haschloroplasts for photosynthesis, but it can also feed on organic matter and is motile. Protozoa are their own "kingdom" by the Integrated Taxonomic Information System 2009 classification. It is sometimes considered a subkingdom. It was traditionally considered a phylum under Animalia.
Sponges are animals of the phylum Porifera (meaning "pore bearer"; pronounced /pɒˈrɪfərə/). Their bodies consist of jelly-like mesohyl sandwiched between two thin layers of cells. While all animals have unspecialized cells that can transform into specialized cells, sponges are unique in having some specialized cells that can transform into other types, often migrating between the main cell layers and the mesohyl in the process. Sponges do not havenervous, digestive or circulatory systems. Instead, most rely on maintaining a constant water flow through their bodies to obtain food and oxygen and to remove wastes, and the shapes of their bodies are adapted to maximize the efficiency of the water flow. All are sessile aquatic animals and, although there are freshwater species, the great majority are marine (salt water) species, ranging from tidal zones to depths exceeding 8,800 metres (5.5 mi). While most of the approximately 5,000–10,000 known species feed on bacteria and other food particles in the water, some host photosynthesizing micro-organisms as endosymbionts and these alliances often produce more food and oxygen than they consume. A few species of sponge that live in food-poor environments have become carnivoresthat prey mainly on small crustaceans.
Coelenterata is an obsolete long term encompassing two animal phyla, the Ctenophora (comb jellies) and the Cnidaria(coral animals, true jellies, sea anemones, sea pens, and their allies). The name comes from the Greek "koilos" ("full bellied"), referring to the hollow body cavity common to these two phyla. They have very simple tissue organization, with only two layers of cells, external and internal.
The flatworms, known in scientific literature as Platyhelminthes or Plathelminthes (from the Greek πλατύ, platy, meaning "flat" and ἕλμινς (root: ἑλμινθ-), helminth-, meaning worm) are a phylum of relatively simple bilaterian,unsegmented, soft-bodied invertebrate animals. Unlike other bilaterians, they have no body cavity, and no specializedcirculatory and respiratory organs, which restricts them to flattened shapes that allow oxygen and nutrients to pass through their bodies by diffusion.
The nematodes (pronounced /ˈnɛmətoʊdz/) or roundworms (phylum Nematoda) are the most diverse phylum ofpseudocoelomates, and one of the most diverse of all animals. Nematode species are very difficult to distinguish; over 28,000 have been described, of which over 16,000 are parasitic. It has been estimated that the total number of nematode species might be approximately 1,000,000. Unlike cnidarians or flatworms, roundworms have adigestive system that is like a tube with openings at both ends.
The annelids (also called "ringed worms"), formally called Annelida (from French annelés "ringed ones", ultimately fromLatin anellus "little ring"), are a large phylum of segmented worms, with over 17,000 modern species includingragworms, earthworms and leeches. They are found in marine environments from tidal zones to hydrothermal vents, in freshwater, and in moist terrestrial environments. Although most textbooks still use the traditional division intopolychaetes (almost all marine), oligochaetes (which include earthworms) and leech-like species, research since 1997 has radically changed this scheme, viewing leeches as a sub-group of oligochaetes and oligochaetes as a sub-group of polychaetes. In addition, the Pogonophora, Echiura and Sipuncula, previously regarded as separate phyla, are now regarded as subgroups of polychaetes. Annelids are considered members of the Lophotrochozoa, a "super-phylum" ofprotostomes that also includes molluscs, brachiopods, flatworms and nemerteans.
An arthropod is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton (external skeleton), a segmented body, and jointed appendages. Arthropods are members of the phylum Arthropoda (from Greek ἄρθρον arthron, "joint", and ποδός podos "foot", which together mean "jointed feet"), and include the insects, arachnids,crustaceans, and others. Arthropods are characterized by their jointed limbs and cuticles, which are mainly made of α-chitin; the cuticles of crustaceans are also biomineralized with calcium carbonate. The rigid cuticle inhibits growth, so arthropods replace it periodically by molting. The arthropod body plan consists of repeated segments, each with a pair of appendages. It is so versatile that they have been compared toSwiss Army knives, and it has enabled them to become the most species-rich members of all ecological guilds in most environments. They have over a million described species, making up more than 80% of all described living animal species, and are one of only two animal groups that are very successful in dry environments – the other being the amniotes. They range in size from microscopic plankton up to forms a few meters long.
The Mollusca, common name molluscs or mollusks, is a large phylum of invertebrate animals. There are around 85,000 recognized extant species of molluscs. This is the largest marine phylum, comprising about 23% of all the named marine organisms. Numerous molluscs also live in freshwater and terrestrial habitats. Molluscs are highly diverse, not only in size and in anatomical structure, but also in behaviour and in habitat.
Echinoderms (Phylum Echinodermata) are a phylum of marine animals. Echinoderms are found at every ocean depth, from the intertidal zone to the abyssal zone. Aside from the problematic Arkarua, the first definitive members of the phylum appeared near the start of the Cambrian period. The phylum contains about 7,000 living species, making it the second-largest grouping of deuterostomes, after thechordates. Echinoderms are also the largest phylum that has no freshwater or terrestrial representatives. The word is derived from the Greek ἐχινοδέρματα (echinodermata), plural of ἐχινόδερμα (echinoderma), "spiny skin" fromἐχινός (echinos), "sea-urchin", originally "hedgehog," and δέρμα (derma), "skin".
Hemichordata is a phylum of marine deuterostome animals, generally considered the sister group of the echinoderms. They date back to the Lower or Middle Cambrian and include two main classes: Enteropneusta (acorn worms), andPterobranchia. A third class, Planctosphaeroidea, is known only from the larva of a single species. The extinct classGraptolithina is closely related to the pterobranchs. Acorn worms are solitary worm-shaped organisms. They generally live in burrows and are deposit feeders, but some species are pharyngeal filter feeders. Pterobranchs are colonial filter-feeding organisms that live in a collagenous tubular structure called a coenecium.
Chordates (phylum Chordata) are animals which are either vertebrates or one of several closely related invertebrates. They are united by having, for at least some period of their life cycle, a notochord, a hollow dorsal nerve cord, pharyngeal slits, an endostyle, and a post-anal tail. The phylum Chordata consists of three subphyla: Urochordata, represented bytunicates; Cephalochordata, represented by lancelets; and Craniata, which includes Vertebrata. The Hemichordata have been presented as a fourth chordate subphylum, but they are now usually treated as a separate phylum. Urochordate larvae have both a notochord and a nerve cord which are lost in adulthood. Cephalochordates have a notochord and a nerve cord (but no brain or specialist sensory organs) and a very simple circulatory system. Craniates are the only sub-phylum whose members have skulls. In all craniates except for hagfish, the dorsal hollow nerve cord is surrounded withcartilaginous or bony vertebrae and the notochord is generally reduced; hence, hagfish are not regarded as vertebrates. The chordates and three sister phyla, the Hemichordata, the Echinodermata and the Xenoturbellida, make up thedeuterostomes, one of the two superphyla that encompass all fairly complex animals.
Vertebrates are members of the subphylum Vertebrata, chordates with backbones and spinal columns. About 58,000species of vertebrates have been currently described. Vertebrata is the largest subphylum of chordates, and contains many familiar groups of large land animals. Vertebrates are the animals from the groups of jawless fishes, bony fishes,sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds. Extant vertebrates range in size from the carp speciesPaedocypris, at as little as 7.9 mm (0.3 inch), to the Blue Whale, at up to 33 m (110 ft). Vertebrates make up about 5% of all described animal species; the rest are invertebrates, which lack backbones. The vertebrates traditionally include the hagfish, which do not have proper vertebrae, though their closest living relatives, the lampreys, do have vertebrae. For this reason, the vertebrate subphylum is sometimes referred to as "Craniata", as all members do possess a cranium.
Cyclostomata is a group of chordates that comprises the living jawless fishes: the lampreys andhagfishes. Both groups have round mouths that lack jaws but have retractable horny teeth. The name Cyclostomata means "round mouths". Their mouths cannot close due to the lack of a jaw, so they have to constantly cycle water through the mouth.
Chondrichthyes (pronounced /kɒnˈdrɪkθi.iːz/, from Greek χονδρ- chondr- 'cartilage', ἰχθύς ichthys 'fish') or cartilaginous fishes are jawed fish with paired fins, paired nares, scales, two-chambered hearts, and skeletons made of cartilage rather than bone. The class is divided into two subclasses: Elasmobranchii (sharks, rays andskates) and Holocephali (chimaeras, sometimes called ghost sharks, which are sometimes separated into their own class). Within the infraphylum Gnathostomata, cartilaginous fishes are distinct from all other jawed vertebrates, the extant members of which all fall into Teleostomi.
Osteichthyes (pronounced /ˌɒstiːˈɪkθi.iːz/), also called bony fish, are a taxonomic group of fish that have bony, as opposed to cartilaginous, skeletons. The vast majority of fish are osteichthyes, which is an extremely diverse and abundant group consisting of over 29,000 species. It is the largest class of vertebrates in existence today. Osteichthyes is divided into the ray-finned fish (Actinopterygii) and lobe-finned fish (Sarcopterygii).
Amphibians (class Amphibia, from Amphi- meaning "on both sides" and -bios meaning "life"), such as frogs,salamanders, and caecilians, are ectothermic (or cold-blooded) animals that metamorphose from a juvenile water-breathing form, either to an adult air-breathing form, or to a paedomorph that retains some juvenile characteristics.Mudpuppies, for example, retain juvenile gills in adulthood. The three modern orders of amphibians are Anura (frogs andtoads), Caudata (salamanders and newts), and Gymnophiona (caecilians, limbless amphibians that resemble snakes), and in total they numbers approximately 6,500 species.  Many amphibians lay their eggs in water. Amphibians are superficially similar to reptiles, but reptiles are amniotes, along with mammals and birds. The study of amphibians is called batrachology.
Reptiles are animals in the (Linnaean) class Reptilia. They are characterized by breathing air, laying shelled eggs, and having skin covered in scales and/or scutes. Reptiles are classically viewed as having a "coldblooded" metabolism. They are tetrapods (either having four limbs or being descended from four-limbed ancestors). Modern reptiles inhabit every continent with the exception of Antarctica, and four living orders are currently recognized:
Birds (class Aves) are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic (warm-blooded), egg-laying, vertebrateanimals. There are around 10,000 living species, making them the most speciose class of tetrapodvertebrates. They inhabit ecosystems across the globe, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Extant birds range in size from the 5 cm (2 in) Bee Hummingbird to the 2.75 m (9 ft) Ostrich. The fossil record indicates that birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs during the Jurassic period, around 150–200 Ma (million years ago), and the earliest known bird is the Late Jurassic Archaeopteryx, c 150–145 Ma. Most paleontologists regard birds as the only clade of dinosaurs to have survived the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction eventapproximately 65.5 Ma.
Mammals (formally Mammalia) are a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterized by the possession ofhair, three middle ear bones, a neocortex, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young. Most mammals also possess sweat glands and specialized teeth, and the largest group of mammals, the placentals, have aplacenta which feeds the offspring during gestation. The mammalian brain regulates endothermic and circulatorysystems, including a four-chambered heart. Mammals range in size from the 30–40 millimeter (1- to 1.5-inch)Bumblebee Bat to the 33-meter (108-foot) Blue Whale.
Tunicates, also known as urochordates, are members of the subphylum Tunicata or Urochordata, a group of underwater saclike filter feeders with incurrent and excurrent siphons that is classified within the phylum Chordata. While most tunicates live on the ocean floor and are commonly known as sea squirts and sea pork, others – such as salps, doliolids and pyrosomes – live above in the pelagic zone as adults. Most tunicates feed by filtering sea water through pharyngeal slits, but some are sub-marine predators such as theMegalodicopia hians. Like other chordates, tunicates have a notochord during their early development but lackmyomeric segmentation throughout the body and tail as adults. Tunicates lack the kidneylike metanephridialorgans, and the original coelom body-cavity develops into a pericardial cavity and gonads. Except for the pharynx,heart and gonads, the organs are enclosed in a membrane called an epicardium, which is surrounded by the jelly-like mesenchyme. Tunicates begin life in a mobile larval stage that resembles a tadpole, later developing into a barrel-like and usually sedentary adult form.