What is classification?Animals can be divided into groups or 'classified' by looking at the similarities and differences between them. Animals are divided into two main groups. Animals that have a backbone are called vertebrates. Animals that don't have a backbone are called invertebrates. Vertebrates and invertebrates are divided into smaller groups. Vertebrates, for example, are divided into fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. There are many different groups of invertebrates too. They include invertebrates which have soft bodies such as jellyfish, worms and molluscs (like slugs and squids). There are also groups of invertebrates with hard bodies, such as insects, crustaceans and spiders.
What is a vertebrate?Vertebrates are animals that have a backbone inside their body. The major groups include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
What is an invertebrate?Invertebrates are animals that don't have a backbone. Some have soft bodies, like worms, slugs and jellyfish. Other invertebrates, like insects, spiders and crustaceans, have a hard outer casing called an exoskeleton. This protects their body a bit like a suit of armour.
Classification of organismsHow do we know a fish is a fish? This clip summarises how we classify animals into groups based on shared characteristics and the work of Carl Linnaeus. Using stunning wildlife film and simple graphics, we take a journey through the animal kingdom discussing how we know a fish is a fish, even though they can all look different. We move on to look at reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals. But some animals, such as dolphins, don’t always go into a group that we would expect.
What is an ecosystem?An ecosystem is like a community and shows how all the living and non-living components are connected. These connections can be seen in a forest ecosystem where salmon is vital for the stability of life within it, and the secret behind this is the bears and how they hunt for the fish and then discard some of the carcasses which are rich in nitrogen. The nitrogen in turn helps the trees to grow. This is then linked to the food chains and webs within the ecosystem. Ecosystems can come in all shapes and sizes, as small as a termite mound or as large as a tree.