The notochord is replaced by a spinal column during embryonic stage. Notochord is a rod-like structure which is made of cartilage. It lies near the dorsal surface (near the back) of the body. Following are the main characteristics of vertebrates.
- Notochord present, which is replaced by spinal column.
- Dorsal nerve chord is present.
- Animals are triploblastic and coelomate.
- Animals have paired gill pouches.
1: (b) Spinal column, 2: (a) Two, 3: (b) Two, 4: (c) Three, 5: (d) Four, 6: (d) All of these, 7: (a) Pigeon, 8: (d) Mammalia, 9: (b) Platypus, 10: (c) Wings
Vertebrates are divided into two super classes, viz. pisces and tetrapoda.
They are commonly known as fish. The body is streamlined. Muscular tail is present which assists in locomotion. Body is covered with scales. Paired gills are present; which can breathe oxygen dissolved in water. They are cold-blooded animals. The heart has only two chambers. They lay eggs. Fishes can be bony or cartilaginous. Shark is an example of cartilaginous fish. Rohu and katla are examples of bony fish.
Animals have four limbs for locomotion and hence the name tetrapoda. Tetrapoda is divided into four classes, viz. amphibia, reptilia, aves and mammalia.
These animals are adapted to live both in water and land. Mucus glands on skin keep the skin moist. The animals breathe through skin when in water and through lungs when on land. The heart has three chambers. These are cold blooded animals. Examples: Frog, toad, salamander, etc.
These animals show crawling movement for locomotion. Skin is hardened to form scales. Most of the reptilians have three chambered heart but crocodile has four-chambered heart. They don’t need water to lay eggs, rather eggs are covered with hard shells and laid on land. Examples: snakes, lizards, crocodile, turtle, etc.
The body is covered with feathers. Forelimbs are modified into wings. These are warm-blooded animals. The heart has four chambers. Bones are hollow (pneumatic); which assists in flying. All the birds belong to this class.
The body is covered with hairs. Skin has seat glands and sebaceous glands. Mammary glands are present in females and are used for nourishing the young ones. Most of the mammalians give birth to young ones and are called viviparous. Some of the mammals lay eggs and are called oviparous. Examples: human, chimpanzee, lion, platypus, horse, etc.
Binomial Nomenclature of Organisms
The system of binomial nomenclature was proposed by Carolus Linneaus (1707 – 1778). Conventions of writing biological name are as follows:
- The biological name is composed of two terms. The first term is called genetic name and the second term is called species name.
- The genus name starts with a capital letter, while the species name starts with a small letter.
- In print, the scientific name is written in italics.
- When handwritten, the genus name and species name need to be underlined separately.
Example: The biological name of modern man is Homo sapiens. Here, Homo is the name of genus, and sapiens is the name of species.