Animals are multicellular and heterotrophic organisms without cell wall and chlorophyll.
Kingdom Animalia includes 11 major phyla:
1. Levels of organization
Based on this, animals are grouped into four levels:
a. Cellular level of organization: Here, the cells are arranged as loose cell aggregates. E.g. Porifera.
b. Tissue level of organization: Here, the cells are arranged into tissues. E.g. Cnidarians and Ctenophores.
c. Organ level of organization: Here, tissues are arranged into organs. E.g. Higher animals (Platyhelminthes to chordates).
d. Organ system level of organization: Here, organs are associated to organ system. Each system performs a specific physiological function. E.g. Higher animals.
Organ systems of various animals show complexities. E.g.
Digestive system is 2 types:
o Incomplete: It has only a single opening that acts as mouth & anus. Seen in Cnidaria and Platyhelminthes.
o Complete: It has 2 openings (mouth & anus).
Circulatory system is 2 types: open & closed.
2. Body symmetry
It is the arrangement of similar body parts on 2 sides of main axis of the body. Based on symmetry, animals are 2 types: Asymmetrical and Symmetrical.
a. Asymmetrical: Here, body cannot be divided into 2 equal halves. E.g. Most Poriferans, Snails etc.
b. Symmetrical: Here, body can be divided into 2 equal halves. It is 2 types.
· Radial symmetry: Here, body can be divided into 2 equal halves in any vertical plane along central axis (oral-aboral axis) of the body. E.g. some Poriferans, Cnidarians, Ctenophores and Echinoderms (adult).
· Bilateral symmetry: Here, body can be divided into right & left halves in only one plane.
E.g. Platyhelminthes to Chordata (except adult Echinodermata).
The body of bilaterally symmetrical animal has a dorsal side (upper), a ventral side (lower), left & right lateral sides, anterior (cephalic) side and posterior (anal or tail) side.
3. Germinal layers (Embryonic layers)
These are layers of embryo from which all the body organs are formed. Based on the number of germ layers, animals are 2 types- Diploblastic and Triploblastic.
a. Diploblastic animals: 2 germ layers- outer ectoderm and inner endoderm. In between these layers, an undifferentiated jelly-like layer called mesoglea is present. E.g. Cnidaria & Ctenophora.
b. Triploblastic animals: 3 germ layers- Outer ectoderm, middle mesoderm and inner endoderm. E.g. Platyhelminthes to Chordata.
4. Coelom (body cavity)
It is the cavity lined by mesoderm. It is seen between body wall and gut wall. Coelom separates the muscles of gut and body wall.
Based on the nature of coelom, animals are 3 types:
a. Acoelomate: No coelom. The space between body wall and digestive cavity is filled with matrix (parenchyma). E.g. Porifera to Platyhelminthes.
b. Pseudocoelomate: False coelom. Here, the body cavity is not lined by mesoderm. Mesoderm is scattered pouches. E.g. Aschelminthes.
c. Coelomate: True coelom. Here, the coelom arises from the mesoderm. Coelom is lined by peritoneal layer and filled with coelomic fluid. E.g. Annelida to Chordata.
Functions of coelom:
· It accommodates visceral organs.
· Coelomic fluid reduces friction between visceral organs.
· It acts as shock absorber.
5. Metamerism (segmentation)
It is the phenomenon in which the body or organs is externally and internally divided into repeated segments (metameres). E.g. Annelids (earthworm etc.), Arthropods.
It is a mesodermally derived supporting rod formed on the dorsal side during embryonic development in some animals. Animals with notochord are called chordates and those without notochord are called non-chordates.
- Topic 1: Basis of Classification
- Topic 2: Porifera, Cnidaria, Ctenophora
- Topic 3: Platyhelminthes, Aschelminthes
- Topic 4: Annelida, Arthropoda
- Topic 5: Mollusca, Echinodermata, Hemichordata
- Topic 6: Chordata - up to Sub phylum Vertebrata
- Topic 7: Chordata - Cyclostomata, Pisces
- Topic 8: Chordata - Tetrapoda