Last Updated on August 3, 2021 by Neil Mackengie
One of the things that birds, snakes, fish, frogs, cows, and all have in common is a backbone or vertebral column. It is made up of many small pieces of bone called “vertebrae”. These forms of life are therefore called “vertebrates”. Creatures that do not have a backbone, such as crabs, snails, grasshoppers, and sponges, are called “invertebrates”.
True vertebrates also have a bony, boxlike structure at one end of their backbone which contains the brain. Their nerves run together into large bundles which are carried in a cavity in the backbone of the brain. The nerves make contact with every part of the body in Vertebrates also have fine, hair-like blood vessels that carry food to every cell in the body. And they combine to form large arteries and veins which run the length of the body to the heart.
Another thing that distinguishes vertebrates from boneless animals is their muscular system. Their digestive system is well developed. The vertebrae of their backbones have attached the ribs and also the bones which carry the limbs.
Vertebrates never have more than four limbs. In fish, the two pairs of paired fins correspond to the limbs. In some vertebrates, such as snakes, these limbs are entirely lacking. In others, such as birds, one pair of limbs has developed into wings. In man, one pair is armed, the other, legs.
Typical vertebrates have tails. But just as other vertebrates have lost their limbs during development, so man has lost his tail.
What Are 5 Examples Of Vertebrates?
The phylum Chordata (animals with backbones) is divided into five common classes: fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds.
Let’s take a tour of the five main vertebrate groups alive today: the fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
The snake is a vertebrate, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is alive. Although it is biologically classified as a vertebrate, snakes are cold-blooded mammals. Yes, some snakes are warm-blooded, but the ones that are cold-blooded still display all the signs of being a vertebrate. They have a spinal cord, a lumbar region, even a brainstem, albeit a primitive one.
1. Vertebrates have a spinal cord, 2. Vertebrates have a brain, 3. Vertebrates have a heart, 4. Vertebrates have true bones.