The animal kingdom
The animal kingdom is one of the five great kingdoms of the living world.
With more than 1million of the 1.75 million species described, the animal kingdom is by far the largest and most diverse.
It contains all the organisms that we have quickly identified as animals, but also some species whose status is less obvious.
The majority of animals are invertebrates, that is, animals with no internal skeleton.
Among these, insects dominate both by the number of individuals and the diversity of species.
However, it is the mammals that are most familiar to us because it is the group in which our species is rooted.
Massive or delicate, fast or heavy, sociable or solitary, mammals of the order of carnivores present a remarkable diversity.
Some consume little or no meat (Panda), while the word carnivorous means, in principle, an animal that eats flesh.
But all have a predatory ancestor with four carnivorous teeth.
These carnivores distinguish carnivores from other meat-eating mammals.
However, in those who have become insectivores, even herbivores, they have been modified to grind.
- The Jackal
- The Serval
- The Hyena
- Sea Lion
- The Mongoose
Ungulates: Artiodactyls, Proboscidians, Hyracoids
There are 65 Ma an order of primitive ungulate mammals, the Condylarthres, began to differentiate.
The seven surviving orders today are grouped under the name of Ungulates, which means “provided with hooves.”
Only 2 orders have real hooves: the Perissodactyls (Horses, Tapir and Rhinoceros) and the large group of Artiodactyls (Pigs, Hippopotamuses, Camels, Deer, Cattle, Sheep and Giraffes).
The other five orders, each with its specializations, are Proboscidians (elephants), Tubulidentates (Aardvark), Hyracoids (Damans), Sirenians (Dugong and Manatees) and Cetaceans (Whales and Dolphins).
- The GIRAFFE
- The Cobe to Croissant
- The Wildebeest
- The Kudu
- The Buffalo
- The Phacochere
- The Springbok
- The klipspringer
Widely regarded as the archaic survivors of the dinosaur era, today’s snakes are highly specialized animals, much more evolved than their ancestors 200 million years ago.
They are the product of the evolution, on more than 300Ma, of a line of terrestrial vertebrates which also gave the birds: the Diapsids.
This lineage was divided into two main groups, Lepidosaurians (lizards, snakes, and sphenodons) and Archosaurians (crocodiles, Pésausiens, dinosaurs, and archaic birds).
The Chelonians (Turtles), appeared there are more than 210 Ma, are from another line, ancient, dating back to the origins of reptiles.
- The Crocodile
- The Lizard
- The Snake
Rodents account for more than 40% of mammals.
They have colonized almost all habitats on Earth.
Their extraordinary presence is explained by their ability to reproduce quickly and abundantly, which allows them to survive in the harshest habitats and exploit the most favorable to the maximum.
Because of their small size, they have also been able to colonize many ecological “microniches.”
Rodents are an ancient group (at least 57 Ma).
The largest family today, that of the Muridae (rats and mice), appeared only five years ago and now contains two-thirds of all species of the order.
The Cape Squirrel
The birds :
Descendants of reptiles able to fly, birds are among the most mobile animals alive today.
Abundant in the wet and wooded areas, they have adapted to the big cities, to the most inhospitable deserts and even to the poles.
Some never leave their domain, others cross seas and continents, sometimes in one step.
Their size ranges from Helen’s tiny Hummingbird to the imposing Ostrich from Africa.
The approximately 9,900 current species present an Painfully Ordinary variety of colors and patterns.
Many species are on the verge of extinction, while others, like the domestic hen, are more numerous than humans.
- The Hornbill.
- The Barbican Pie.
- The Guinea fowl of Numidia.
The class of Arachnids includes spiders, scorpions, mowers, mites, and various less known groups.
Except for a few mite families and a small number of aquatic spiders, all arachnids are terrestrial, the majority being predators of other invertebrates.
Many spiders weave silk webs to trap their prey.
Scorpions and spiders inject venom with their prey to paralyze or kill them.
The majority of Arachnids, who cannot swallow solid foods, inoculate digestive enzymes to their prey to liquefy them before ingesting them.
The insects :
Insects are the most prosperous animals the Earth has ever worn.
About one million species have been described, more than half of the animals surveyed, but the number of existing species would be between 2 and 30 million.
For the number of individuals, insects surpass all other animal forms here as well: some estimate that ants and termites alone account for up to 20% of terrestrial biomass.
Some forms can colonize the warmest deserts or the icy poles, and all terrestrial and freshwater habitats between these two extremes. The sea is home to very little.
- The butterfly.
- The Termite.
- The Ant.
Lemurs, tarsiers, and apes from the order of the Primates, to which our species also belongs.
Primates are adapted to arboreal life: the eyes, placed face, allow a stereoscopic vision to better estimate distances.
The extended flexible limbs, terminated by hands and feet able to firmly grip the branches, facilitate movement in the trees to forage for food.
Some primates have opted for life on the ground, but they retain some of these adaptations.
Most have developed complex social behavior, a sign of remarkable intelligence.
- The Vervet.
- The Baboon.