There are about two million living species in the Animal kingdom and all have some features in common. All animals are multi-celled organisms, they can move the whole or part of the body, swallow food, get rid of their own waste material and they can reproduce. The variety of animals is amazing : sponges, bees, snakes, elephants, butterflies, parrots, birds, fishes etc.
Vertebrates, including fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and birds, represent only 1.1% of all species of animals, whilst arthropods, a class of insects, crustaceans, arachnids, has over one million species!



This classification divides animals into two large groups

  • Vertebrates
  • Invertebrates

Vertebrates:- Animals with a spine or backbone.
Invertebrates:- Animals without a spine or backbone.


Phylum is the term for a major group of animals. There are 35 phyla. The main ones are Chordata(vertebrates), Cnidaria(invertebrates), Porifera(sponges), Molluscs(octopus), Coelenterate(jellyfish), Arthropods(spiders,insects), Echinodermata(starfish).


Class is the term for a minor group of animals. The Chordata phylum splits up into Mammalia (Mammals), Actinopterygii (Bony Fish), Chondrichthyes (Cartilaginous Fish), Aves (Birds), Amphibia (Amphibians) and Reptilia (Reptiles). Chordata phylum splits up into Arachnida(spiders), Crustacea(crabs), Hexopoda(insects).


Each class is divided into small groups again, known as orders. The class Mammalia (Mammals), splits into different groups including Carnivora, Primate, Artiodactyla and Rodentia. The class Aves (birds), splits into different groups including Struthioniformes Tinamiformes Galliformes Ciconiiformes etc.


In every order, there are different families of animals which all have very similar features. The Carnivora order breaks into families that include Felidae (Cats), Canidae (Dogs), and Ursidae (Bears).


Every animal family is then divided into small groups known as genus. Each genus contains animals that have very similar features and are closely related. For example, the Felidae (Cat) family contains genus including Felis (small Cats and domestic Cats), Panthera (Tigers, Leopards, Jaguars and Lions) and Puma (Panthers and Cougars).


Each individual species within the genus is named after it's individual features and characteristics. The names of animals are in Latin so that they can be understood worldwide, and consist of two words. The first word in the name of an animal will be the genus, and the second name indicates the specific species.

Intersting things about Animal Kingdom

  • There are over 9000 known species of bids.
  • Reptiles comprise one of the largest group of animals, with over 6000 species.
  • There are about 4200 species of amphibians.
  • There are more than 23000 species of fish in many shapes, colours, sizes.
  • There are about 4600 species in the group of mammals.

What How Why

How is the height of a mountain measured?

To measure the height of mountain, the surface of the sea is taken as the point of reference. The height of the mountain is the distance between the top of the mountain and the surface of the sea.