Animal Kingdom

CLASS – OSTEICHTHYES

These are also called bony fishes because of bony endoskeleton. The body is streamlined. Mouth is usually terminal. There are four pairs of gills which are covered by operculum on each side. The skin is covered with cycloid/ctenoid scales. Air bladder is present which helps in buoyancy. The heart is two-chambered. They are cold-blooded animals.

Reproduction: These are dioecious animals. Fertilization is usually external and development is direct. Most of the bony fishes are oviparous.

Common Examples: Marine – Exocoetus (Flying fish), Hippocampus (Sea horse); Freshwater – Labeo (Rohu), Catla (Katla), Clarias (Magur); Aquarium – Betta (Fighting fish), Pterophyllum (Angel fish).


CLASS – AMPHIBIA

The amphibians can live both in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. They need water for fertilization. Two pairs of limbs are present in most of the amphibians. Body is divided into head and trunk. Tail can be present in some of them. The skin is moist and scales are absent. Eyelids are present on the eyes. A tympanum represents the ear. There is a common chamber; called cloaca; in which the alimentary canal, urinary tract and reproductive tract open. Respiration is by gills, lungs and through skin.

There are three chambers in the heart (two auricles and one ventricle). These are cold-blooded animals.

Reproduction: These are dioecious animals. Fertilization is external and development can be direct or indirect. These are oviparous animals.

Common Examples: Bufo (Toad), Rana (Frog), Hyla (Tree frog), Salamandra (Salamander), Ichthyophis (Limbless amphibia).


CLASS – REPTILIA

These animals show creeping or crawling mode of locomotion. Most of them are terrestrial animals. The body is covered by dry and cornified skin, epidermal scales (scutes). Tympanum represents ear. Limbs are in two pairs; when present.

Three-chambered heart is present in most of the reptiles. Crocodiles have four-chambered heart. These are cold-blooded animals.

Reproduction: These are dioecious animals. Fertilization is internal and development is direct. These are oviparous animals.

Common Examples: Chelone (Turtle), Testudo (Tortoise), Chameleon (Tree lizard), Calotes (Garden lizard), Crocodilus (Crocodile), Alligator (Alligator). Hemidactylus (Wall lizard), Poisonous snakes – Naja (Cobra), Bangarus (Krait), Vipera (Viper).

CLASS – AVES

Presence of feathers and wings are the characteristic features of Aves. The forelimbs are modified into wings. The hind limbs usually have scales and are modified for walking, swimming or clasping the tree branches. Skin is dry without glands, but oil gland is present at the base of the tail. Beaks are present.

The endoskeleton is composed of bones. Long bones are pneumatic, i.e. are hollow with air cavities. Air cavities in the long bones help in weight reduction and this is an important flight adaptation. Crop and gizzard are the additional chambers in the digestive tract.

There are four chambers in the heart. They are warm-blooded (homoiothermous) animals. Respiration is by lungs, and air sacs; connected to lungs; supplement respiration.

Reproduction: These are dioecious animals. Fertilization is internal and development is direct. They are oviparous animals.

Common Examples: Corvus (Crow), Columba (Pigeon), Psittacula (Parrot), Struthio (Ostrich), Pavo (Peacock), Aptenodytes (Penguin), Neophron (Vulture).


CLASS – MAMMALIA

Presence of mammary glands is the most unique feature of these animals. The young ones are nourished by the mammary glands. Hairs are present on the skin and external ears are present. Different types of teeth are present in the jaw. The two pairs of limbs are adapted for walking, running, climbing, burrowing, swimming or flying.

There are four chambers in the heart. They are warm-blooded animals. Respiration is by lungs.

Reproduction: They are dioecious animals. Fertilization is internal and development is direct. Most of them are viviparous.

Common Examples: Oviparous - Ornithorhynchus (Platypus);

Viviparous: Macropus (Kangaroo), Pteropus (Flying fox), Camelus (Camel), Macaca(Monkey), Rattus (Rat), Canis (Dog), Felis (Cat), Elephas (Elephant), Equus (Horse), Delphinus (Common dolphin), Balaenoptera (Blue whale), Panthera tigris (Tiger), Panthera leo (Lion).

Distinct Characters of 4 classes of the Superclass Tetrapoda:


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