Different Types of Animals

Animals are first divided into two groups, invertebrates which do not have backbones and vertebrates which have backbones. Vertebrates are further split into two groups the cold-blooded and the warm blooded. Let’s discuss more of the vertebrates. They are divided into five groups the mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fishes.


These are animals distinguished by them possessing mammary glands which assist them to feed the young one when they are young. Most of them give birth to the young ones; they possess the brains to think, though some of them lay eggs like the egg laying mammals the duck bill platypus. The human beings also fall under this class, the whales, cows, goats and many others. They are warm blooded hence they moderate or control the body temperatures. They contain true hair for providing the temperatures wherever they are hot or cold.


They are covered by feathers the whole body and scale at the legs. They have beaks which are adapted to the many ways each search for its food. They lay eggs which then hatches to the newborn, the eggs are covered by a hard shell, others are used as human food like hen eggs. They are warm blooded hence able to maintain their temperatures. They have four chambered heart also light weighted with the strong skeleton. They also possess wing for mobility though others are too heavy to fly like the ostrich and many others. Examples are hens, birds of the air, goose, flamingoes, kiwi, etc.


They are vertebrates. They begin their lives in water using gills as a means of breathing as time goes by they then develop lungs and also, they use their skin for the same. They are cold blooded animals. They inhabit a wide variety of places from fresh water to the land. They egg eggs which are then fertilized the hatches to the young ones externally. They contain scales; some also contain poisonous claws for protection against dangers. They include salamander, frog, and many others. They catch flies as their main food


Their bodies are covered by scales. They are vertebrates. Most of them are dangerous to human beings. They lay eggs which are then fertilized by the male externally. They are cold blooded. They are more similar to the birds, but some features distinguish them from them like the scales and feathers. Not all lay eggs, but some like the boa constrictor give birth to the young one. They include the crocodile, snake, lizard and much more.


These vertebrates who mostly or whole life spend in the water. They are covered by the grill and do not possess either legs or any other locomotive features, but they swim. Big fish use small ones as food while the small use the green plants in the water to feed. They lay eggs which are externally fertilized by the male to hatches the new ones. They are cold blooded.

This is the five classes of animals which are further divided into small subgroups for further division. Mammals take the largest percentage of all.


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Where do animals live?

Different animal species occupy different environments due to existence of favourable and life supporting conditions. The specific area occupied by given animal species is referred to as habitat. A habitat is made up of both living organisms and natural features. The specific weather and natural conditions in a given habitat attracts different animals to live in it. As a result, animals have adaptations to help them survive in their respective habitat. We are going to look at what types of environments do animals live in around the world.

Aquatic environment

Water occupies 75 per cent of the total earth space; this makes it the largest habitat on earth. Aquatic environment refer to different water bodies covering the earth like rivers, lakes, swamps, oceans and seas. Aquatic environment is further subdivided to salt and fresh water bodies. Salt water bodies are made up of lakes and oceans and forms the largest part of aquatic environment. Salt water is home to a variety of animals, ranging from smallest size like plankton to the largest animals on earth like the blue whale. Fresh water bodies are made up of rivers, swamps and lakes; it is home to variety of fish species and other aquatic organisms.


Desert is an extensive piece of dry land characterised by very minimal precipitation, wide temperature variations and hostile living condition. Deserts are classified according to the amount of precipitation per year. Deserts are not always covered by sand and experiencing hot temperatures as depicted in the television shows. There are deserts covered by stones while others experience very cold temperatures like the Antarctica. Animals living in the deserts have special water conservation and temperature control adaptations to help them survive in the harsh environment. Examples of animals found in the desert include camels, bats, deer and wild dogs.


Forest habitat is characterised by tree and vegetation cover with varying climatic and temperatures patterns. Tree is important to the world since it uses carbon di oxide to make food and releases oxygen to the atmosphere. Worlds’ forest can be classified into three categories; boreal forest, tropical rainforest and temperate forests. Boreal forest is located in the northern hemisphere and is characterised by cold temperatures; animals found here include birds, wolves and bears. Tropical rainforests are located along the equator; it is home to majority of wild animal species. Temperate forest is located towards the north and south hemispheres.


Grassland environment occupies an extensive area on earth; the average precipitation is between 250 and 750 millimetres per year. It is covered by extensive grass, shrubs and few trees due to the limited rainfall. It is home to different species of birds and herbivores that directly feed on fruits from the trees, grass and shrubs. Carnivores are also found in the grasslands since they feed on herbivores.


Tundra is the coldest of all the habitats, it is characterised by extremely low temperatures and short summers. Low temperatures make it hard for vegetation to grow; the ground is covered by short vegetation, shrubs and grass. Tundra can further be sub divided to artic and alpine tundra. Arctic tundra is found just below the northern hemisphere with low temperatures of up to negative 34 degrees Celsius during winter. Animals found in arctic tundra include polar bears, arctic hares and lemmings. Alpine tundra refers to the tall mountain-top environments; animals found here include elk and mountain goats.




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What types of birds cannot fly?

Everyone one knows what a bird this is so obvious, right? If you ask a seven year old kid what a bird is, the kid will respond with something like, ‘a bird is animal that has two feet, spine, wings, hollow bones and it can fly.’ This is some of the characteristics that everyone probably thinks of when it comes to birds that is it has wings and it can fly. But of course it is imperative to mention at this point that not all birds that cannot fly. Someone might ask, what types of birds cannot fly? There are quite a number of birds that cannot fly but we are going to look at some of the most popular flightless birds in this piece.

  1. Ostrich

This is one of the largest bird and it tops the list and very rightly so. Other than being the largest it weighs about 145 kg, its egg is the largest among all birds with a diameter of 5 inches and weighing up to 3 pounds. This bird has small fluffy wings, which cannot help the bird to take off but it has sturdy legs that makes it to sprint at a speed of about 43mph faster than any other land bird. Ostrich stands at height of about 9 feet tall and have a lifespan of 30 to 40 years.

  1. Penguin

Another type of flightless birds is penguins, without any uncertainty there are the most famous birds t mankind. They are aquatic in nature and they are usually found in the Southern Hemisphere, Antarctica. This bird is small black with white parches and a yellow tummy, everyone knows about this bird due to the numerous films made on them. They weigh 35 kg and stand about 3 feet tall on an average. Their wings look like flippers something that makes them swim with ease on water. They feed by hunting their prey underwater but they raise offspring on dry land.

  1. Kiwi

Kiwis are classified as endangered species of birds and mostly they are found in New Zealand. Kiwis are wingless thus they cannot be able to fly at all. They roots can be traced from the ancient group of flightless birds, which were famously known as ratites. They have nostrils at their beaks and hair like feathers. The size of their egg is also enormous. Kiwis are nocturnal and scrounge the floor of forest in search of small invertebrates, seeds, fruits and worms that they feed on. In total, they are about five species of kiwi and they are national symbol of New Zealand.

  1. Emu

Emus are another type of flightless birds that are primarily found in Australia, and are the ratites group second largest members. They are similar to ostrich on their physical looks and features. They have an average height of about 5 to 6 feet these flightless birds do not have large and fluffy wings. They have small vestigial wings that they flutter while running to achieve stability.

Finally, it is important to mention that earth has a lot of mind boggling creatures and each play a key role in the ecology. These flightless birds that are discussed above shows immense diversity and they cannot be regarded as those species that are disadvantaged.




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All About Penguins

Penguins may evoke thoughts of ice and polar regions, but there are many more things that you should know about them. Penguins belong to the group of aquatic animals and live exclusively in the snow-capped areas of Antarctica. Though, you can find them in other continents like Africa, South America and Australia. This unique black and white bird is primarily famed for its entertaining padding. Though they are considered to be in the group of birds, they are unable to fly like other birds. Penguins love to spend most of their time underwater and they are capable of swimming faster than any other birds in the world. Their unique look is known as countershading that saves them in the water. Their unique body shape and swimming excellence allows them to get rid of the grasp of predators like seals although, they find it to be a bit clumsy when they are on land.

There are around 17 species of penguins, and all of them are warm-blooded. They hold blubber that shields them against extreme cold. Their down feathers and emission of oil keeps their bodies waterproof while they hold a windproof system, which heats them up. When they feel that they would like to get some heat, all of them come out of the cold in a group. In some of the tropical regions where the temperature mounts a bit, they fluff their feathers to remain cool. The mother penguins store their eggs in particular fluffy and warm region of their bodies so that they stay protected from inclement weather.

They live near seas and this obviously accounts for their preference for eating squid and krill. An interesting fact about penguins is that there is a gland in their body, which provides them with salt free drinking water, and the moment they feel thirsty, they hydrate themselves with the pullover. Penguins usually create a nest near the shore and start living together with their mate. The initial bonding between two penguins is shaped by touching each other’s neck and smacking their flippers on their backs. They remain together as long as the female penguin gives birth to the chicks, and they identify each other by their voice.

When the eggs are laid, the father penguin takes care of everything while the mother penguin goes out to arrange food for babies. The female penguin returns within the next 14 days. In the meantime, the male penguin can arrange the food quickly and store them under their warm feathers. They recognize their chicks by their unique voice.

Just like professional swimmers, penguins love to dive into the water creating brilliant splashes. They love to play. The species in the snow are mostly seen lying on their bellies so that they can move faster. They can spend almost 75% of their lives in the water including hunting. Oil spills and sea pollution near coastlines often causes life threats for these penguins. In order to provide them a favorable space to live, proper initiatives are required to be implemented.



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How do animals take baths?

Modern humans have a skewed sense of hygiene – we are under the illusion that soaps, shampoos and other cleaning agents such as detergents etc. are making us and our surroundings cleaner. While it is true that these substances do help in controlling bacteria, they also pollute the environment. Soapy water is a poisonous toxin that can cause death upon ingestion! In essence, we are polluting the planet and causing destruction of life – all under the pretext of staying clean. How ironic! Animals, on the other hand, do not have soaps, shampoos etc. but they too take hygiene pretty seriously (and they do it without damaging the environment)!

So how do animals take baths? Well, birds bathe in the dust. They move around in dust and then shake it off vigorously – getting rid of small insects and dirt in the process. They also clean their feathers with their beaks – this behaviour is known as preening. A bird’s survival can depend upon how clean its feathers are. Feathers laden with dirt are heavy and not aerodynamic – this affects the flight speed. If a bird cannot fly fast enough, it may not be able find lunch or it may end up becoming somebody else’s lunch!

Dogs, cats, horses, deer, zebras, elephants etc. also take dust baths. They roll around in sand or mud. This helps to remove dead skin, sweat and insects. Elephants use their drunks to spray water and dust onto their bodies. This helps them to stay cool and the dust acts as a protective barrier against harsh sunlight. Often, animals rub against the bark of trees to scratch an itch.

Humans too took sand/dust baths not too long ago. This practice was especially common among Bedouins who lived in the desert. However, these nomads took ‘normal’ baths with water whenever they came across rivers, streams and lakes.

Cats, tigers, lions, leopards and other felines bathe using their tongues. Their tongues have a rough surface and this helps to scrub away dirt. You may have seen domestic cats taking tongue baths – they wet their paws with their saliva and then use the paws to clean their face and ears. Often, felines chew upon a reed or eat some grass. This helps to clean their teeth and also aids in resolving digestive problems. Dogs, foxes and other felines shake, scratch and bite their own coats to remove dirt and insects.

Monkeys stay clean by grooming each other. They remove debris, lice and other insects from each other’s coats and snack on them! Hippos and water buffaloes are huge animals with limited flexibility but they get help from the aptly named oxpecker birds. Giraffes have incredibly longue tongues. They use them to clean their ears.

The Nile crocodile has a symbiotic relationship with the tiny plover birds. The crocodile lies on the shore with its mouth wide open and the birds eat the meat that is stuck in between the teeth. Plovers are brave birds – not many creatures enter the mouth of crocs and live to tell the tale.

Bees and ants are also very fastidious when it comes to bathing. Ants smear themselves with an oily substance that they produce – this prevents dust and debris from clinging to their bodies. Bees too shake off dust and pollen by beating their wings furiously. They also use their legs and proboscis to clean their eyes. To us, a single speck of dust weighs nothing but a bee can accumulate several times its bodyweight of dust and pollen if it does not clean itself at regular intervals.

Last but not the least, animals bathe under the free natural shower called rain. It is strange that many humans get quite mad when it rains and run for shelter – it is almost as if they are allergic to water. But then, humans are funny creatures!


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We will get more in depth with gorillas later but before we get into the serious stuff…. Did you know that gorillas have a sense of humor? They will actually prank humans.  Check it out!