Animals are a major classification of living things that are found in the Kingdom Animalia.
The major characteristics of most of the animals include the ability to move, breathe, grow and reproduce.
There are a variety of animals across the world. These animals are each adapted to their characteristics and to their various habitats.
Vertebrates are the group of animals that have a backbone. Under this classification, there are various classes of animals and these include;
- These are the animals whose unique characteristics include giving birth to their young ones and feeding their young ones on milk found in their mammary glands. Examples of mammals include goats, cows, lions and human beings.
- Reptiles are the animals whose bodies are covered in scales and they reproduce by laying eggs. They include snakes, crocodiles and lizards.
- Birds are the animals that have wings and whose bodies are covered in feathers. They also reproduce by laying eggs.
- Fish are those animals that mainly live in water. They have fins that help them to swim in water and their bodies are covered in scales. They reproduce by laying eggs.
- Amphibians are those animals that love partly in land and partly in water. They can breathe through their skin and gills. Examples include frogs and toads.
Invertebrates are those animals that do not have a backbone. Invertebrates are widely classified. Some of the major classifications include;
- Arthropods are the animals with an exoskeleton and segmented bodies. They include spiders and insects.
- Molluscs are the animals that have soft bodies that are not segmented. Examples include snails.
- Annelida are the animals that have longitudinal bodies that have circular muscles. Examples include earthworms and leeches.
- Poriferas are the animals that mostly reside in salty water. They are made up of multiple cells and reproduce sexually and asexually. Examples include sycons and Euplectella.
- Protozoa are the invertebrates that are unicellular and some are mostly aquatic. Some of the examples include Amoeba and Paramecium.
Domestic animals vs wild animals
Domestic animals are those animals that are usually kept at home and they have many benefits that they offer their owners. These animals are kept either as pets or to provide food such as milk, eggs and meat to the owners. Domestic animals are usually friendly to the owners and are mostly found in farm areas or rural areas where there is plenty of land where the animals can be kept. Some of the examples include goats, cows, dogs, cats, hens, donkeys, camels, etc.
Wild animals are those animals that live freely in the world and they are not controlled or cared for by human beings. These animals either feed on grass found on the wild while others hut other animals for food. Wild animals are mostly dangerous to people. Examples of wild animals include lions, cheetahs, elephants, leopards, hyenas, antelopes, zebras, warthogs, etc.
Benefits of domestic animals
- Domestic animals are a source of food. Some of the domestic animals like cows and goats produce milk while others like hens provide eggs. Some of the animals can also be slaughtered to provide meats.
- Domestic animals are also a huge income earner for farmers. Farmers earn income when they sell the products they get from the animals or when they sell the animals.
- Some animals like dogs help in maintaining the security of the home. They protect other livestock and also their owners from external threats.
- The droppings that are collected from these domestic animals are used to make manure that helps to increase the fertility of the soil.
- Some domestic animals also provide companionship to their owners. This includes the domestic animals that are kept as pets such as dogs and cats.
- Domestic animals are beneficial to the textile industry as wool of sheep and skin that is gotten from the cattle is used to make clothes and shoes.
- Animals like horses and camels can also be used in the transportation of people and goods.
Benefits of wild animals
- One major use of wild animals is that they help in promoting tourism. Many tourists travel to various parts of the world to go and watch wild animals that are kept in parks, zoos or those in their natural habitats.
- Wild animals are an income earner to many countries. This is through the promotion of tourism.
- Some wild animals are also sources of food. The meat of wild animals is referred to as game meat and it is a delicacy to many people.
- Wild animals also help in promoting arts. The horns and skins gotten from these animals can be used to make valuable artistic materials like sculptures and mats.
- Through wild animals, many people have also acquired jobs and employment. This includes the people who work in various wildlife parks and those who act as game rangers to protect the animals from poachers.
There are many species of animals around the world. Animals, be it wild or domestic are very important to us. We should hence ensure that we take care of domestic animals at home and also ensure that we protect the wild animals from poachers and environmental threats.