animals


Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

Animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia (also called Metazoa). Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their lives. All animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and independently, at some point in their lives. All animals are heterotrophs: they must ingest other organisms or their products for sustenance. Most known animal phyla appeared in the fossil record as marine species during the Cambrian explosion, about 542 million years ago. Animals are divided into various sub-groups, some of which are: vertebrates (birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish); molluscs (clams, oysters, octopuses, squid, snails); arthropods (millipedes, centipedes, insects, spiders, scorpions, crabs, lobsters, shrimp); annelids (earthworms, leeches); sponges; and jellyfish. Contact with animals resulted in roughly 80,000 human deaths in 2013, down from 96,000 in 1990. More than 70% of these deaths were from venomous animals.