A coral "group" is a colony of very many genetically identical polyps. Each polyp is a sac-like animal typically only a few millimeters in diameter and a few centimeters in height. A set of tentacles surround a central mouth opening. Each polyp excretes an exoskeleton near the base. Over many generations, the colony thus creates a skeleton characteristic of the species which can measure up to several meters in size. Individual colonies grow by asexual reproduction of polyps. Corals also breed sexually by spawning: polyps of the same species release gametes simultaneously overnight, often around a full moon. Fertilized eggs form planulae, a mobile early form of the coral polyp which, when mature, settles to form a new colony. (Full article...)
A cross section of a post-clitellum segment of an annelid (ringed worm); almost all segments of an annelid contain the same set of organs and parts, a pattern called metamerism. Annelids have no lungs, but rather exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen directly through the moist skin when blood reaches the extremely fine capillaries of the body walls; a dry worm cannot breathe and will die of suffocation. The worm's red blood, which does not consist of platelets or red cells but mostly of a liquid containing suspended hemoglobin, makes a circuit up and down the animal in its closed circulatory systems.
The Atlantic spadefish is a species of marine fish endemic to the shallow waters off the coast of the southeastern United States and in the Caribbean Sea. They are similar in appearance to fresh waterangelfish, but much larger, reaching up to three feet (0.9 m) in length. Due to their reputation as strong fighters, they are popular game fish, especially during the summer months when they are most active.
Brittle stars, serpent stars, or ophiuroids (from Latin ophiurus 'brittle star'; from Ancient Greekὄφις (óphis) 'serpent', and οὐρά (ourá) 'tail'; referring to the serpent-like arms of the brittle star) are echinoderms in the class Ophiuroidea, closely related to starfish. They crawl across the sea floor using their flexible arms for locomotion. The ophiuroids generally have five long, slender, whip-like arms which may reach up to 60 cm (24 in) in length on the largest specimens. (Full article...)
Liguus virgineus, also known as the candy cane snail, is a species of snail in the family Orthalicidae. It is native to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, in the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. There have also been at least three reports of living specimens being found in the Florida Keys of the United States. The snail lives on trees and feeds on moss, fungi and microscopic algae covering the bark.
The leopard shark (Triakis semifasciata) is a species of hound shark found along the Pacific coast of North America from the U.S. state of Oregon to Mazatlán in Mexico. Typically measuring 1.2–1.5 m (3.9–4.9 ft) long, this slender-bodied shark is characterized by black saddle-like markings and large spots over its back.
The common clam worm (Alitta succinea) is a widely distributed species of marine polychaete worm. The photograph shows an epitoke specimen, the worm having turned into a form capable of reproduction. After releasing its sperm or eggs, the animal will die.
Sexual dimorphism is the condition where the two sexes of the same species exhibit different characteristics. Differences may include secondary sex characteristics, size, weight, color, or markings, as well as behavioral and cognitive differences. In the butterfly species Colias dimera (also known as the Dimera sulphur), seen here mating in Venezuela, the male on the right is a brighter shade of yellow than the female.
An illustration of various Pulmonata (and one predator arthropod in the lower right), an informal group of snails and slugs characterized by the ability to breathe air, by virtue of having a pallial lung instead of a gill, or gills. Pulmonata was previously a formal taxon but lost its status as one in 2010. The group includes many land and freshwater families, and several marine families. Most species have a shell, but no operculum, although the group does also include several shell-less slugs. Pulmonates are hermaphroditic, and some groups possess love darts.
The paddyfield pipit (Anthus rufulus) is a passerine bird in the family Motacillidae, comprising pipits, longclaws and wagtails. About 15 cm (6 in) in length and native to southern Asia, its plumage in both sexes is greyish-brown above and paler yellowish-brown below, with dark streaking on the breast. A bird of open country, pasture and cultivated fields, it sometimes makes short flights, but mostly runs on the ground, foraging for insects and other small invertebrates. The paddyfield pipit builds its cup-shaped nest in a concealed location on the ground, and may have two or more broods in a year. This A. r. rufulus individual was photographed in Kanha Tiger Reserve, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
The flatworms, flat worms, Platyhelminthes, or platyhelminths (from the Greek πλατύ, platy, meaning "flat" and ἕλμινς (root: ἑλμινθ-), helminth-, meaning "worm") are a phylum of relatively simple bilaterian, unsegmented, soft-bodied invertebrates. Unlike other bilaterians, they are acoelomates (having no body cavity), and have no specialized circulatory and respiratoryorgans, which restricts them to having flattened shapes that allow oxygen and nutrients to pass through their bodies by diffusion. The digestive cavity has only one opening for both ingestion (intake of nutrients) and egestion (removal of undigested wastes); as a result, the food cannot be processed continuously. (Full article...)
A macro view of a Gonia capitatafly feeding on honey, showing its proboscis and pedipalps (the two appendages protruding from the proboscis), two types of insect mouthparts. The proboscis actually comprises the labium, a quadrupedal structure, and a sponge-like labellum at the end. Flies eat solid food by secreting saliva and dabbing it over the food item. As the saliva dissolves the food, the solution is then drawn up into the mouth as a liquid. The labellum's surface is covered by minute food channels which form a tube leading to the esophagus, and food is drawn up the channels by capillary action.
The coconut octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) is a medium-sized cephalopod found in tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean. It commonly preys upon shrimp, crabs, and clams, and displays unusual behaviour, including bipedal walking and gathering and using coconut shells and seashells for shelter.
Aplysina archeri is a species of sponge that has long tube-like structures of cylindrical shape. Many tubes are attached to one particular part of the organism; a single tube can grow up to 5 feet (1.5 m) high and 3 inches (7.6 cm) thick. These sponges mostly live in the Atlantic Ocean. These filter feeders eat food such as plankton or suspended detritus as it passes them.
The book begins with a brief account of the physical causes of animal coloration. The second chapter gives an overview of the book, describing the various uses of colour in terms of the advantages it can bring through natural selection. The next seven chapters describe camouflage, both in predators and in prey. Methods of camouflage covered include background matching, resemblance to specific objects such as bird droppings, self-decoration with materials from the environment, and the seasonal colour change of arctic animals. Two chapters cover warning colours, including both Batesian mimicry, where the mimic is edible, and Mullerian mimicry, where distasteful species mimic each other. A chapter then looks at how animals combine multiple methods of defence, for instance in the puss moth. Two chapters examine coloration related to sexual selection. Finally Poulton summarizes the subject with a fold-out table including a set of Greek derived words that he invented, of which "aposematic" and "cryptic" survive in biological usage. (Full article...)
The following are images from various animal-related articles on Wikipedia.
Image 1Animals are unique in having the ball of cells of the early embryo (1) develop into a hollow ball or blastula (2). (from Animal)
Image 2Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck led the creation of a modern classification of invertebrates, breaking up Linnaeus's "Vermes" into 9 phyla by 1809. (from Animal)
Image 3A brilliantly-coloured oriental sweetlips fish (Plectorhinchus vittatus) waits while two boldly-patterned cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) pick parasites from its skin. The spotted tail and fin pattern of the sweetlips signals sexual maturity; the behaviour and pattern of the cleaner fish signal their availability for cleaning service, rather than as prey (from Animal coloration)
Image 4Animal anatomical engraving from Handbuch der Anatomie der Tiere für Künstler. (from Zoology)
Image 40This frog changes its skin colour to control its temperature. (from Animal coloration)
Image 41Idealised bilaterian body plan. With an elongated body and a direction of movement the animal has head and tail ends. Sense organs and mouth form the basis of the head. Opposed circular and longitudinal muscles enable peristaltic motion. (from Animal)
Image 45A praying mantis in deimatic or threat pose displays conspicuous patches of colour to startle potential predators. This is not warning coloration as the insect is palatable. (from Animal coloration)
Image 46Butterfly wing at different magnifications reveals microstructured chitin acting as diffraction grating. (from Animal coloration)
The following table lists estimated numbers of described extant species for the animal groups with the largest numbers of species, along with their principal habitats (terrestrial, fresh water, and marine), and free-living or parasitic ways of life. Species estimates shown here are based on numbers described scientifically; much larger estimates have been calculated based on various means of prediction, and these can vary wildly. For instance, around 25,000–27,000 species of nematodes have been described, while published estimates of the total number of nematode species include 10,000–20,000; 500,000; 10 million; and 100 million. Using patterns within the taxonomic hierarchy, the total number of animal species—including those not yet described—was calculated to be about 7.77 million in 2011.[a]
^The application of DNA barcoding to taxonomy further complicates this; a 2016 barcoding analysis estimated a total count of nearly 100,000 insect species for Canada alone, and extrapolated that the global insect fauna must be in excess of 10 million species, of which nearly 2 million are in a single fly family known as gall midges (Cecidomyiidae).
^Sluys, R. (1999). "Global diversity of land planarians (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Terricola): a new indicator-taxon in biodiversity and conservation studies". Biodiversity and Conservation. 8 (12): 1663–1681. doi:10.1023/A:1008994925673. S2CID38784755.