The five main groups of vertebrates, known as classes, are: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Vertebrate species are assigned groups based on shared traits, such as body covering, the ability to maintain a steady temperature and the number of chambers in the heart, among others. Some groups of birds and mammals, called clades, are grouped according to a shared ancestry.Know More
Fish are the largest and most diverse group of vertebrates. Fish are the oldest of the vertebrate classes, breathe through gills, and both live in and lay eggs in the water. Fish are ectothermic, and vary their body temperature to match the surrounding environment.
Amphibians are also ectothermic and, like fish, lay their eggs in water. Larval amphibians have gills, but the adult stages of almost every species breathes air through lungs. Amphibians have moist, permeable skin that cannot be allowed to dry out.
Reptiles are ectothermic, air-breathing vertebrates that breed on land. Their skin is usually scaly, and different groups of reptiles either lay a water-resistant egg or give birth to live young.
Mammals are derived from ancestral synapsid reptiles. They maintain a high body temperature, generally give birth to live young and are usually covered with hair. Birds are descended from a different line of reptiles, lay eggs and are covered with feathers. Birds are also capable of maintaining a constant temperature.Learn more about Mammals
The five classes of vertebrates are fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds. These groupings predate modern genetics and represent functional groupings rather than true trees of phylogeny. Bony fish, for example, are more closely related to mammals than they are to sharks.Full Answer >
In higher vertebrates, such as reptiles, birds and mammals, there are 12 pairs of cranial nerves. Lower vertebrates, such as fish and amphibians, have 10 pairs of cranial nerves.Full Answer >
Jamaica is home to only a few indigenous mammals, but a wide variety of birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects can be found there. Some of the more common species of mammal, such as the wild boar and the Asian mongoose, are not native to the island.Full Answer >
Many of the rainforest's birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals are endangered. These include familiar animals, such as the chimpanzees of Central Africa, and relatively unknown animals, such as the elephant frog of Australia.The tropical rainforests are home to more species than any other terrestrial habitats.Full Answer >