Portal:Animals

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Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, and grow from a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million animal species in total. Animals range in length from 8.5 micrometres (0.00033 in) to 33.6 metres (110 ft). They have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The kingdom Animalia includes humans but in colloquial use the term animal often refers only to non-human animals. The scientific study of animals is known as zoology.

Most living animal species are in Bilateria, a clade whose members have a bilaterally symmetric body plan. The Bilateria include the protostomes—in which many groups of invertebrates are found, such as nematodes, arthropods, and molluscs—and the deuterostomes, containing both the echinoderms as well as the chordates, the latter containing the vertebrates. Life forms interpreted as early animals were present in the Ediacaran biota of the late Precambrian. Many modern animal phyla became clearly established in the fossil record as marine species during the Cambrian explosion, which began around 542 million years ago. 6,331 groups of genes common to all living animals have been identified; these may have arisen from a single common ancestor that lived 650 million years ago.

Historically, Aristotle divided animals into those with blood and those without. Carl Linnaeus created the first hierarchical biological classification for animals in 1758 with his Systema Naturae, which Jean-Baptiste Lamarck expanded into 14 phyla by 1809. In 1874, Ernst Haeckel divided the animal kingdom into the multicellular Metazoa (now synonymous for Animalia) and the Protozoa, single-celled organisms no longer considered animals. In modern times, the biological classification of animals relies on advanced techniques, such as molecular phylogenetics, which are effective at demonstrating the evolutionary relationships between taxa. (Full article...)

Zoology (/zˈɒləi/) is the branch of biology that studies the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct, and how they interact with their ecosystems. The term is derived from Ancient Greek ζῷον, zōion, i.e. "animal" and λόγος, logos, i.e. "knowledge, study". (Full article...)

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The springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) is a medium-sized antelope found mainly in southern and southwestern Africa. The sole member of the genus Antidorcas, this bovid was first described by the German zoologist Eberhard August Wilhelm von Zimmermann in 1780. Three subspecies are identified. A slender, long-legged antelope, the springbok reaches 71 to 86 cm (28 to 34 in) at the shoulder and weighs between 27 and 42 kg (60 and 93 lb). Both sexes have a pair of black, 35-to-50 cm (14-to-20 in) long horns that curve backwards. The springbok is characterised by a white face, a dark stripe running from the eyes to the mouth, a light-brown coat marked by a reddish-brown stripe that runs from the upper fore leg to the buttocks across the flanks like the Thomson's gazelle, and a white rump flap.

Active mainly at dawn and dusk, springbok form harems (mixed-sex herds). In earlier times, springbok of the Kalahari desert and Karoo migrated in large numbers across the countryside, a practice known as trekbokking. A feature, peculiar but not unique, to the springbok is pronking, in which the springbok performs multiple leaps into the air, up to 2 m (6.6 ft) above the ground, in a stiff-legged posture, with the back bowed and the white flap lifted. Primarily a browser, the springbok feeds on shrubs and succulents; this antelope can live without drinking water for years, meeting its requirements through eating succulent vegetation. Breeding takes place year-round, and peaks in the rainy season, when forage is most abundant. A single calf is born after a five- to six-month-long pregnancy; weaning occurs at nearly six months of age, and the calf leaves its mother a few months later. (Full article...)

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10 of the 12 extant canid genera left-to-right, top-to-bottom: Canis, Cuon, Lycaon, Cerdocyon, Chrysocyon, Speothos, Vulpes, Nyctereutes, Otocyon, and Urocyon

Canidae is a family of mammals in the order Carnivora, which includes domestic dogs, wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals, dingoes, and many other extant and extinct dog-like mammals. A member of this family is called a canid; all extant species are a part of a single subfamily, Caninae, and are called canines. They are found on all continents except Antarctica, having arrived independently or accompanied human beings over extended periods of time. Canids vary in size, including tails, from the 2 meter (6 ft 7 in) gray wolf to the 46 cm (18 in) fennec fox. Population sizes range from the Falkland Islands wolf, extinct since 1876, to the wolf, whose domestic dog subspecies has a worldwide population of over 1 billion. The body forms of canids are similar, typically having long muzzles, upright ears, teeth adapted for cracking bones and slicing flesh, long legs, and bushy tails. Most species are social animals, living together in family units or small groups and behaving cooperatively. Typically, only the dominant pair in a group breeds, and a litter of young is reared annually in an underground den. Canids communicate by scent signals and vocalizations. One canid, the domestic dog, entered into a partnership with humans at least 14,000 years ago and today remains one of the most widely kept domestic animals.

The 13 genera and 37 species of Caninae are primarily split into two tribes: Canini, which includes 9 genera and 20 species, comprising the wolf-like Canina subtribe and the South American Cerdocyonina subtribe; and Vulpini, the fox-like canids, comprising 3 genera and 14 species. Not included in either tribe is the Urocyon genus, which includes 2 species, mainly comprising the gray fox and believed to be basal to the family. In addition to the extant Caninae, Canidae comprises two extinct subfamilies designated as Hesperocyoninae and Borophaginae. Extinct species have also been placed into Caninae, in both extant and extinct genera; at least 80 extinct Caninae species have been found, as well as over 70 species in Borophaginae and nearly 30 in Hesperocyoninae, though due to ongoing research and discoveries the exact number and categorization is not fixed. The earliest canids found belong to Hesperocyoninae, and are believed to have diverged from the existing Caniformia suborder around 37 million years ago. (Full article...)
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The following table lists estimated numbers of described extant species for the animal groups with the largest numbers of species,[1] along with their principal habitats (terrestrial, fresh water,[2] and marine),[3] and free-living or parasitic ways of life.[4] Species estimates shown here are based on numbers described scientifically; much larger estimates have been calculated based on various means of prediction, and these can vary wildly. For instance, around 25,000–27,000 species of nematodes have been described, while published estimates of the total number of nematode species include 10,000–20,000; 500,000; 10 million; and 100 million.[5] Using patterns within the taxonomic hierarchy, the total number of animal species—including those not yet described—was calculated to be about 7.77 million in 2011.[6][7][a]

Phylum Example No. of
Species
Land Sea Fresh
water
Free-
living
Parasitic
Annelids Nerr0328.jpg 17,000[1] Yes (soil)[3] Yes[3] 1,750[2] Yes 400[4]
Arthropods wasp 1,257,000[1] 1,000,000
(insects)[9]
>40,000
(Malac-
ostraca)[10]
94,000[2] Yes[3] >45,000[b][4]
Bryozoa Bryozoan at Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique (6654415783).jpg 6,000[1] Yes[3] 60–80[2] Yes
Chordates green spotted frog facing right 65,000[1]
45,000[11]

23,000[11]

13,000[11]
18,000[2]
9,000[11]
Yes 40
(catfish)[12][4]
Cnidaria Table coral 16,000[1] Yes[3] Yes (few)[3] Yes[3] >1,350
(Myxozoa)[4]
Echinoderms Starfish, Caswell Bay - geograph.org.uk - 409413.jpg 7,500[1] 7,500[1] Yes[3]
Molluscs snail 85,000[1]
107,000[13]

35,000[13]

60,000[13]
5,000[2]
12,000[13]
Yes[3] >5,600[4]
Nematodes CelegansGoldsteinLabUNC.jpg 25,000[1] Yes (soil)[3] 4,000[5] 2,000[2] 11,000[5] 14,000[5]
Platyhelminthes Pseudoceros dimidiatus.jpg 29,500[1] Yes[14] Yes[3] 1,300[2] Yes[3]

3,000–6,500[15]

>40,000[4]

4,000–25,000[15]

Rotifers 20090730 020239 Rotifer.jpg 2,000[1] >400[16] 2,000[2] Yes
Sponges A colourful Sponge on the Fathom.jpg 10,800[1] Yes[3] 200-300[2] Yes Yes[17]
Total number of described extant species as of 2013: 1,525,728[1]

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  1. ^ The application of DNA barcoding to taxonomy further complicates this; a 2016 barcoding analysis estimated a total count of nearly 100,000 insect species for Canada alone, and extrapolated that the global insect fauna must be in excess of 10 million species, of which nearly 2 million are in a single fly family known as gall midges (Cecidomyiidae).[8]
  2. ^ Not including parasitoids.[4]
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Zhang, Zhi-Qiang (2013-08-30). "Animal biodiversity: An update of classification and diversity in 2013. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (Ed.) Animal Biodiversity: An Outline of Higher-level Classification and Survey of Taxonomic Richness (Addenda 2013)". Zootaxa. 3703 (1): 5. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.3703.1.3. Archived from the original on 24 April 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Balian, E. V.; Lévêque, C.; Segers, H.; Martens, K. (2008). Freshwater Animal Diversity Assessment. Springer. p. 628. ISBN 978-1-4020-8259-7.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Hogenboom, Melissa. "There are only 35 kinds of animal and most are really weird". BBC Earth. Archived from the original on 10 August 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Poulin, Robert (2007). Evolutionary Ecology of Parasites. Princeton University Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-691-12085-0.
  5. ^ a b c d Felder, Darryl L.; Camp, David K. (2009). Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota: Biodiversity. Texas A&M University Press. p. 1111. ISBN 978-1-60344-269-5.
  6. ^ "How many species on Earth? About 8.7 million, new estimate says". 24 August 2011. Archived from the original on 1 July 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  7. ^ Mora, Camilo; Tittensor, Derek P.; Adl, Sina; Simpson, Alastair G.B.; Worm, Boris (2011-08-23). Mace, Georgina M. (ed.). "How Many Species Are There on Earth and in the Ocean?". PLOS Biology. 9 (8): e1001127. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001127. PMC 3160336. PMID 21886479.
  8. ^ Hebert, Paul D.N.; Ratnasingham, Sujeevan; Zakharov, Evgeny V.; Telfer, Angela C.; Levesque-Beaudin, Valerie; Milton, Megan A.; Pedersen, Stephanie; Jannetta, Paul; deWaard, Jeremy R. (1 August 2016). "Counting animal species with DNA barcodes: Canadian insects". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 371 (1702): 20150333. doi:10.1098/rstb.2015.0333. PMC 4971185. PMID 27481785.
  9. ^ Stork, Nigel E. (January 2018). "How Many Species of Insects and Other Terrestrial Arthropods Are There on Earth?". Annual Review of Entomology. 63 (1): 31–45. doi:10.1146/annurev-ento-020117-043348. PMID 28938083. S2CID 23755007. Stork notes that 1m insects have been named, making much larger predicted estimates.
  10. ^ Poore, Hugh F. (2002). "Introduction". Crustacea: Malacostraca. Zoological catalogue of Australia. 19.2A. CSIRO Publishing. pp. 1–7. ISBN 978-0-643-06901-5.
  11. ^ a b c d Reaka-Kudla, Marjorie L.; Wilson, Don E.; Wilson, Edward O. (1996). Biodiversity II: Understanding and Protecting Our Biological Resources. Joseph Henry Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-309-52075-1.
  12. ^ Burton, Derek; Burton, Margaret (2017). Essential Fish Biology: Diversity, Structure and Function. Oxford University Press. pp. 281–282. ISBN 978-0-19-878555-2. Trichomycteridae ... includes obligate parasitic fish. Thus 17 genera from 2 subfamilies, Vandelliinae; 4 genera, 9spp. and Stegophilinae; 13 genera, 31 spp. are parasites on gills (Vandelliinae) or skin (stegophilines) of fish.
  13. ^ a b c d Nicol, David (June 1969). "The Number of Living Species of Molluscs". Systematic Zoology. 18 (2): 251–254. doi:10.2307/2412618. JSTOR 2412618.
  14. ^ Sluys, R. (1999). "Global diversity of land planarians (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Terricola): a new indicator-taxon in biodiversity and conservation studies". Biodiversity and Conservation. 8 (12): 1663–1681. doi:10.1023/A:1008994925673. S2CID 38784755.
  15. ^ a b Pandian, T. J. (2020). Reproduction and Development in Platyhelminthes. CRC Press. pp. 13–14. ISBN 9781000054903.
  16. ^ Fontaneto, Diego. "Marine Rotifers | An Unexplored World of Richness" (PDF). JMBA Global Marine Environment. pp. 4–5. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2 March 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.
  17. ^ Morand, Serge; Krasnov, Boris R.; Littlewood, D. Timothy J. (2015). Parasite Diversity and Diversification. Cambridge University Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-107-03765-6. Archived from the original on 12 December 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2018.