Vertebrates are a group of animals characterized by their vertebral column and internal skeletal system. There are nearly 70,000 species of vertebrates, ranging from marine fish and mammals to terrestrial reptiles, amphibians, and birds.
Some well-known examples of vertebrates include mammals like dogs, cats, whales, bats, and humans. There are also vertebrate birds like eagles, chickens, penguins and ostriches. Reptiles such as snakes, turtles and crocodilians have backbone structures. And amphibians including frogs, salamanders and newts are vertebrates as well.
Also read Examples of Invertebrates
Examples of Vertebrates
Here are some most common examples of vertebrates, along with their scientific name, characteristics, and pictures:
Humans have a spinal column with 33 vertebrae that houses and protects the spinal cord, supporting head and torso movement via attached rib muscles and ligaments.
Cats of all breeds have a flexible spinal column and skeleton allowing agility and hunting reflexes to catch nimble prey like mice or birds in midair leaps.
The chicken has a lightweight vertebral skeleton and fused collarbone adapted for flight with wings attached to breastbone and shoulder blades.
Cows as mammals have vertebral backbones allowing them to support huge 1,000-1500 pound bodies while standing for long periods chewing cud to digest tough grasses.
Dogs have an anatomical skeletal structure including vertebral discs cushioning spinal movement that provide agile stability for running, jumping, hunting, or herding sheep.
Zebras have sturdy equine vertebral skeletons that support running long distances over open grasslands to escape lion predators chasing them.
Salmon have bony vertebrae and rib bones that allow them to swim upstream against river currents to reach spawning grounds after hatching in offshore waters years prior.
Frogs as amphibians have backbones allowing them to live both on land and in water thanks to muscular hind legs adapted for jumping and swimming along muddy pond bottoms.
Sparrows have lightweight vertebrate skeletons with strong pectoral muscles for flapping wings attached to breastbone keels catalyzing flight and steering
As ocean predators, sharks have cartilage spinal columns with attached fins and mighty jaw structures giving speed and biting力 for attacks
Turtles, having backbones inside protective ventral shells, can retract heads and limbs entirely inside to shield from predators when afraid or sleeping.
Eagles have vertebral skeletons adapted for flight including broad wings attached to deep breastbone keels providing lift powerful enough to capture swift prey while diving at speeds exceeding 150 mph.
Chameleons have specialized vertebrae allowing independent rotation of eye turrets for wide optic ranges to spot prey and unique tongue-bone extension reaching twice their body length to grasp insects.
Squirrels have flexible spines to quickly twist searchingly allowing climbing mobility between branches and telephone wires while constantly foraging.
Goldfish skeletal structures include fins, gills, and caudal peduncles propelling maximum maneuverability and speed for life in home aquariums or ponds after domestication from wild carp breedancestors.