Animal Diversity and Classification in Zoology

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12 Questions

What are some characteristics that distinguish animals from other domains of life?

Multicellularity, mobility, specialized tissues

Which domain shares characteristics with animals?


What is the traditional classification of animals based on cell structure?

Monera, Metazoa, Protoctista

Which kingdom consists primarily of unicellular organisms known as protists?


What do all green and photosynthetic plants belong to?


Which domain combines several kingdoms under it including Eukarya and Chromalveolata?


What kingdom comprises yeasts, mold, mushrooms, and lichens?

Kingdom Fungi

Which kingdom contains organisms that derive energy from photosynthesis or indirectly through ingestion?

Kingdom Chromalveolata

What type of organisms are found in the Eubacteria Kingdom?

Single-celled organisms lacking nuclei or membrane-bound organelles

Which branch of organisms refers specifically to thermophilic, halophilic, methanogenic, acidophilic, or radioresistant bacteria?

Archaebacteria Kingdom

What does zoology study to understand the relationship between animals and their environment?

Anatomy, physiology, behavior, ecology, genetics, development, and evolution

Why might scientists group organisms based on how they look or live even if they are not biologically related?

Because biological relatedness is irrelevant to their study

Study Notes

Zoology is a branch of biology concerned with the study of animals and their natural history. Animals make up one of the three domains of life, alongside bacteria and archaea; they share many characteristics with plants and fungi, but have additional features such as multicellularity, mobility, and specialized tissues like muscle cells and nerves. This diverse group includes species ranging from microscopic protozoans to large mammals like elephants.

Animal Diversity

The animal kingdom can be divided into six kingdoms based on differences in cell structure and organization. These groups—Protista, Plantae, Fungi, Protoctista, Monera, and Metazoa—are further classified using the traditional plant and animal classifications: protists, plants (including algae), fungi, prokaryotes, metaphytes, and phototrophs. However, modern taxonomy usually combines several of these categories under the domain Eukarya, which also contains kingdoms that do not contain animals, such as Chromalveolata.

Within each category, there are numerous classes, orders, families, genera, and species. For example:

  • Kingdom Protista consists primarily of unicellular organisms known as protists, which include parasites (such as malaria) along with more benign creatures like amoebas.
  • Kingdom Plantae encompasses all green and photosynthetic plants, including mosses, ferns, conifers, flowering plants, and seaweed.
  • Kingdom Fungi comprises yeasts, mold, mushrooms, puffballs, bracket fungi, rusts, smuts, mildews, and lichens, among others.

Each kingdom has its own unique evolutionary tree, reflecting common ancestry within the branches. In addition to these major divisions, scientists sometimes identify other kinds of organisms by grouping them according to how they live or what they look like, although this classification system does not refer directly to biological relatedness. Some examples include:

  • Kingdom Chromalveolata contains organisms that derive energy from sunlight through photosynthesis, as well as those that obtain it indirectly via ingestion.
  • The Eubacteria comprise a variety of single-celled organisms that lack nuclei or membrane-bound organelles.
  • Archaebacteria, often called archaebacterium or archean bacterium, refers specifically to certain types of thermophilic, halophilic, methanogenic, acidophilic, or radioresistant bacteria.

In summary, zoology covers the vast realm of living beings that we call animals. It studies their anatomy, physiology, behavior, ecology, genetics, development, and evolution in order to better understand their place in our world and their relationship to us, other forms of life, and the environment itself.

Explore the wide array of animal species and their classification within the animal kingdom. Learn about the various kingdoms, classes, orders, and species that encompass the diverse world of animals, from unicellular protists to large mammals like elephants.

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