This is a complete explanation of vertebrate animals starting from the characteristics, classification, types, as well as examples, and pictures. For the first discussion, starting from what is a vertebrate animal, what it means, and the difference between it and invertebrates .

What do you mean by Vertebrates?

Vertebrates are animals that have a backbone. Starting from the neck to the tail of the animal there are bones that are segmented and lined up.

The spine in these animals comes from a primary body support called the notochord . The spine also contains the muscular system, as well as the central nervous system. Respiratory system or breathing through the gills or lungs.

Characteristics of Vertebrate Animals

These animals have the following characteristics:

  • The main characteristics are: having a spine, supporting bones of the body, and a skull bone or also called a cranium .
  • Body size varies, but has bilateral symmetry .
  • The skin has 2 layers, namely the epidermis and the endodermis .
  • Complete digestive system, the system extends from the mouth to the anus.
  • Have active locomotion.
  • Have an endocrine system or glandular tissue that can produce hormones.
  • Have a closed circulatory system.
  • The whole body, especially the brain and reproductive organs are well developed.
  • Residual substances are excreted through the kidneys

Classification of Vertebrates

If you find several animals that match the characteristics above, then these animals could be a type of vertebrate animal. However, vertebrate animals have different classifications. The different classifications are grouped based on body covering, locomotion, and breeding.

Based on the classification group, there are 5 types of vertebrates, namely:

1. Fish

Fish habitat is in water, can live in fresh water, sea water, and brackish water. The characteristics of these animals are using fins, have slimy scales, and have lateral lines.

The fins consist of: dorsal fin, pectoral fin, pelvic fin, and dorsal fin, and caudal fin. The slimy scales make it easier to move, and the lateral lines are used to measure water pressure.

Fish or Pisces are still grouped based on the type of bone, namely: cartilage, and true bone.

  • Cartilage Fish

Cartilage fish has a biological name Chondrichthyes is a fossil from the descendants of ancient animals that are hundreds of years old. There are 5 or even 7 gill slits, and do not have gill covers.

Examples of cartilaginous fish: Sharks, Stingrays, and others.

  • Real Bone Fish

Osteichthyes is the biological name of a true bony fish. The most common fish species come from the Actinopterygii group of fish .

Examples of true bone fish: catfish, eel fish, and carp.

2. Frog

Frogs or Amphibian animals have limbs with 2 mucous-webbed legs that are used for swimming. Frog skin is always wet, this is because it contains blood vessels.

Frogs are divided into 3 orders, namely:

  • Urodela Type

This type of frog is a frog that has a tail.

  • Anura Type

This frog has no tail.

  • Types of Apoda

Is a frog that has no limbs

The characteristics of amphibians are that they can live on land or in water. It has 2 respiratory systems, namely lungs and skin, which is why frogs can live in 2 worlds.

In addition, frogs also have long leg bones so they can jump far.

Examples of frog vertebrate animals can be seen in the following picture:

3. Creeping Animals

Reptiles are cold-blooded reptiles with a body covered in scales. The characteristics of reptiles are generally reproduce by laying eggs, the skin is hard, and dry, and moves using the stomach. Reptiles also breathe through lungs, and have a 4-chambered heart valve.

Reptiles are divided into 4 orders, namely:

  • Order Ophidia

Description: has no legs, no eyelids, fangs and venom.

Examples of ophidia animals: Serpentes, prehistoric snakes, legless and earless lizards, and others.

  • Order of Crocodilia

Description: long body, thick skin, and strong jaws and teeth.

Examples of crododilia animals: runging-snout crocodiles

  • Order of Lacertilia

Description: has varying scales and claws, has eyelids and ear canals, and a long tongue.

Examples of Lacertian Animals: Lizards, Chameleons, Iguanas

  • Order of Chelonia

Description: has a shell that is used as a shield from enemy attacks. Short stature, no teeth and tongue does not stick out.

Examples of chelonia animals: Tortoise, Turtle, Bulus

4. Birds

Bird or its biological name is Aves . Birds have the characteristics of wings, and the body is covered with feathers. The feathers function to fly and also warm the body. The fastest animal comes from the bird species, namely the peregrine falcon or peregrine falcon . The speed of the animal reaches 389 km / hour.

There are different types of feathers in birds, namely:

  • Plumulae are feather branches of plumae.
  • Plumae are feathers that are directly attached to the hair shaft.
  • Filoplumaei, plumule branches, and have the finest hair strands.

Examples of vertebrate animal birds: Ostrich, Butung Quail, and other types of chirping birds

Some birds can fly, but there are also bird species that cannot fly, such as: ostrich and quail.

5. Mammals

The characteristics of mammals or mammals are that they have mammary glands to breastfeed their children. Mammals also move using a pair of forelegs and hind limbs, forelegs and hands, and a pair of forelimbs that resemble flippers.

In addition to the characteristics above, mammals also have different dental characteristics, namely: incisors, canines, and molars. Mammals also have a body covered with hair, and are classified as warm-blooded animals.

Examples of mammals: Cows, goats, horses, whales, dolphins, and so on.

Brain development in mammals is the most perfect when compared to other types or animal species. The stages of breeding of mammals, as follows:

  • Fertilization or fertilization occurs in the body of the female parent, precisely in the oviduct or oviduct .
  • The result of fertilization grows into a zygote . The zygote is the earliest form of the developmental process.
  • Then the zygote develops into an embryo which is inside the female uterus. Embryo is a fetus from a fertilized egg.
  • The embryo grows into a baby that is ready to be delivered vaginally by the female mother.

Conclusions starting from the discussion of classification, types of vertebrate animals, and the characteristics of each type of animal can be described in the following table form:

No Classification Fish Frog Creeping Animals Bird Mammals
1 Habitat Water Water and land Water and land Land and air Water and land
2 Body Cover Scale Slimy skin Scale Hair Hair
3 Fertilization/ 


External External Internal Internal Internal
4 Respiration/ 


Gill Gills (when young), 

Lungs (as adults)

Lungs Lungs Lungs
5 Body temperature Polyotherm Polyotherm Polyotherm Homoiterm Homoiterm
6 Breed lay eggs/ 


lay eggs/ 

Oviparous, and giving birth (Ovoviviparous)

lay eggs/ 

Oviparous, laying eggs and giving birth (Ovoviviparous)

lay eggs/ 


Childbirth/ Vivipar

That is a complete explanation of vertebrate animals starting from understanding, characteristics, classification, types, as well as examples, and pictures.