Classification of Plants and Animals


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Classification of Plants and Animals

  1. 1. Classification of Animals • Chordate Phylum Reptiles are a class of the chordate phylum. They have scaly skin and feet with claws on their toes. Both the babies and the adults breathe through lungs. They have a breastbone called a sternum to protect the heart and lungs. The female's eggs are fertilized in her body by the male. The eggs are laid in a shell that has a leathery covering to protect it in the wilds. The common reptiles are snakes, turtles, lizards alligators and crocodiles. Birds are a class of the chordates or vertebrate phylum. They are similar to other chordates in that they have a backbone. They are unique in the fact that they are covered with feathers and fly. Mammals are a class in the chordate phylum. Mammals are like other chordates in that they have backbones. Mammals have several distinct characteristics: they have hair on their bodies, they nurse their young and they have live birth rather than laying eggs. Fish are the class of chordates that live completely in water. Their bodies have three main parts; the head, the trunk of the body and the tail. Their bodies are covered in scales and also a protective slime. They are important as a food source for animals. Amphibians are one of the classes of chordates. The word amphibian means both sides of life. This is because the amphibian begins its life in the water and then finishes it mainly on land. The change of an animal in its appearance from baby to adult is called metamorphosis. An amphibian goes through metamorphosis as it grows from a baby to an adult. The amphibian, because it must be moist, sometimes hides out in the summer as if hibernating. This is called estivation. • Phylum Mollusca A mollusk is Soft-bodied animals that sometimes have a hard shell another name for a shellfish. There are three groupings of shellfish. They include: Hatchet-footed - These live inside of two shells that are connected by a muscular hinge which can open and close the shell. They are referred to as bivalves. Lines on the shell tell how old the mollusk is as the shell gets bigger, the older the shellfish gets. Clams, scallops, oysters and mussels are bivalves. 2. Belly-footed - These have just one spiral shell and carry their shells on their backs. They are called univalves. The snail, slug, periwinkle and conch belong to this group. 3. Head-footed - These have a definite head surrounded by tentacles. The squid and octopus are two in this group. 1.
  2. 2. • Phylum Echinodermata This means "spiny skinned" in Greek. Echinoderms live in salt water only. They sgenerally have five arms and dwell at the bottom of oceans' levels. There are around 6000 species of echinoderms. The starfish, sea urchin, sea cucumber and sand dollar are some good examples. • Phylum Platyhelminth Flatworms are the simplest of the worm groups. They are found many places and can be free living or parasitic. A parasite lives off of another living thing called a host and can be harmful. One of the best known flatworms is the tapeworm. The tapeworm can get into a person's digestive tract and grow to enormous lengths. The tapeworm then eats off the host and is dangerous to the host as it grows and consumes more of the host and its food. Flatworms are found in marine and fresh water. • Phylum Nematoda Roundworms are a member of the nemathelminths phylum or group of animals. The hookworm, pinworm and trichinella are part of this group. They are more advanced than flatworms but less advanced than earthworms. They have thin round bodies, with none of the pieces or segments that earthworms have in their bodies. Roundworms live in salt water, fresh water and the soil. Many of them are harmful to man as they are parasites. • Phylum Cnidaria Corals belong to a group or phylum that includes hydras, jellyfish, and sea anemones called coelenerates. They are frequently symbiotic. This means that it and another living thing live off of each other without one harming the other. Coelenterates live in the sea. They give off poisonous toxins to protect themselves from predators. • Phylum Annelida They are divided into segments or parts. They are found in salt and fresh water as well as in the soil. Earthworms are helpful to man as bait for fishing and more importantly, because they loosen the soil for roots to grow. • Protozoa The protozoa are one-celled animals and the smallest of all animals. Most of them can only be seen under a microscope. They do breathe, move, and reproduce like multicelled animals. They live in water or at least where it is damp. Animals in this group include the paramecium, the euglena and the ameba. Some protozoans are harmful to man as they can cause serious diseases. Others are helpful because they eat harmful bacteria and are food for fish and other animals.
  3. 3. • Phylum Arthropoda Arthropods are animals with a hard exoskeleton, like a suit of armour, with joints in it to allow them to move, and they can only grow by shedding this and growing a new one. The phylum arthropoda is divided into Arachnid a kind of animal that has eight legs and a body formed of two parts Crustacean a type of animal that has several pairs of legs and a body made up of sections that are covered in a hard outer shell Myriapod any of a group (Myriapoda) of arthropods having the body made up of numerous similar segments nearly all of which bear true jointed legs Insects any of a class (Insecta) of arthropods) with well-defined head, thorax, and abdomen, only three pairs of legs, and typically one or two pairs of wings • Phylum Porifera Sponges are considered the oldest of the animal phyla. The name Porifera means "pore bearer" in Latin. The surface of a sponge's body is covered by a skin, one cell thick. This skin is penetrated by numerous small pores and a few large openings. These are respectively the entrances and exits for a complex system of canals and chambers through which the sponge pumps a current of water. • Phylum Rotifera Rotifers are typically transparent, but can appear to be green, brown, red, or orange, depending on the colouration of the digestive tract. Even though they are small, they do have organs, including a mastax, which grinds the food, a pharynx and esophagus, a stomach, reproductive organs, the intestine, an anus, a bladder, etc. They also have a nervous system consisting of nerves that extend to the sensory organs and other areas of the body. The nerves send messages to and from the "brain", a mass of cells known as a ganglia. The sensory organs consist of bristles on the corona, antennae, and one or two eyes that contain a few photo receptors. Rotifers are typically found in freshwater. However, some species are marine, terrestrial, or even parasitic. Most spend solitary lives, but some live in colonies. They move by crawling or swimming, but may do neither, living sessile lives anchored to one spot.
  4. 4. Classification of Plants Seedless Vascular Plants Ferns a type of plant that has large, delicate leaves and no flowers. any of a division (Filicophyta) or class (Filicopsida) of flowerless spore-producing vascular plants having alternating sporophyte and gametophyte generations; especially : any of an order (Filicales) of homosporous plants possessing roots, stems, and leaflike fronds Horsetails A member of a genus, Equisetum, of seedless vascular plants having a jointed hollow stem and narrow, sometimes much reduced leaves. Plants extremely similar to modern horsetails are known from fossils 300 million years old. The horsetails are the last surviving members of the phylum Sphenophyta, which dominated the forests of the Devonian and Carboniferous periods. Whisk ferns lack most typical plant organs. The plant has no roots, leaves, flowers, fruits, or seeds. It consists primarily of stems. Besides reaching about 1 foot above the soil surface, the stems extend beneath the soil, branching to form a network of smaller stems to hold the plant erect and absorb water and minerals for nutrition. Club Mosses have horizontal branching stems, both underground and above. These stems will send up shoots that will hold the flowering portion of the plant. The shoots can range from 1/2 inch high to over one foot. These plants produce spores in a cone like structure at the end of the stem. The spores are shed and they germinate on good soil. Once the spores germinate, they develop into a "thallus" which then produce male and female egg cells. These cells then reproduce to form the new plant. Non-Vascular Plants Mosses a type of green plant that has very small leaves and no flowers and that grows on rocks, bark, or wet ground. They commonly grow close together in clumps or mats in damp or shady locations. They do not have flowers or seeds, and their simple leaves cover the thin wiry stems. At certain times mosses produce spore capsules which may appear as beak-like capsules borne aloft on thin stalks. Hornwort is a flowerless, spore-producing plant - with the spores typically produced in a tapering, horn-like or needlelike capsule which develops from a flattish, green sheet.
  5. 5. Vascular seed plants Cycad is any of various evergreen plants that live in tropical and subtropical regions, have large feathery leaves, and resemble palm trees in that most leaves cluster around the top of the stem. Cycads are gymnosperms that bear conelike reproductive structures at the top of the stem, with male and female cones borne on different plants. Conifers are cone-bearing seed plants. Most are trees; some are shrubs. They are formally the Division Pinophyta or Coniferophyta. Conifers are Gymnosperms. They are cone-bearing seed plants with vascular tissue; all living conifers are woody plants, the great majority being trees. Gingko A deciduous, dioecious tree (Ginkgo biloba) which is the sole surviving member of the Ginkgoales, an order of gymnosperms. It has fan-shaped leaves and fleshy yellowish seeds containing a edible kernel. Gnetae are gymnospermous flowering plants; supposed link between conifers and angiosperms; in some systems classified as a class (Gnetopsida) and in others as a subdivision (Gnetophytina or Gnetophyta) Flowering Plants (angiosperms), also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies. These characteristics include flowers, endosperm within the seeds, and the production of fruits that contain the seeds. Etymologically, angiosperm means a plant that produces seeds within an enclosure; they are fruiting plants, although more commonly referred to as flowering plants.