Vertebrates are the broad group of animals which are classified by the possession of a backbone or spinal column involving mammals, birds, fishes, reptiles, and amphibians and the list of these animals have lots more.


The scientific name for these animals is Vertebrata.

Classification of Vertebrates

Vertebrates are one of the most advanced organisms on Earth. The trait which makes all the animals in this category unique are the vertebrae, notochords, and spinal cords. Everything resides at having a series of nerves along the back(dorsal side). If you are an organism, you just cannot survive on nerves. You need to have support and protection for these nerves. The requirement is all about the backbones and a rod of cartilage known as notochord.

More than fifty thousand species may seem like a good number. But, when compared to invertebrates the species of them is less. One of the reason is that these are normally larger than invertebrates and require more space. Besides the fact of being more advanced, there are many limitations on the environment available to them.

Suppose you are a smart mammal, would you choose to live near the frozen tundra of the Arctic or near the ocean. Most of the land animals would prefer to move towards the desired area to live.

Characteristics of Vertebrates

Vertebrates are smart. Most of them have an advanced nervous system. When a goldfish is compared to a sea anemone, the goldfish is not less than Einstein. Octopi are considered to be the smartest invertebrates and exception in the invertebrate category.

More interesting traits about vertebrates are that they do have skeletons and muscles. The materials may vary, but these move around efficiently along with complex moves with the help of muscles. The intelligence and ability to move give these animals like birds and reptiles a kind of advantage over them in the natural world.

To know more about differences between them and their characteristics, visit Byju’s.

Practise This Question

Which of the following organelle have their own genetic material?