Continue reading this article to learn more about what the Animal or animal kingdom is, its characteristics, classification and examples. Don’t miss it.
Characteristics of animals
Animals are living beings who perform the functions of nutrition, relationship and reproduction. Many are very complex organisms, but others are distinguished by the relative simplicity of their conduct, as in the case of jellyfish. The characteristics of the most outstanding animals are the following that we will explain.
They are multicellular organisms
All animals are made up of several microscopic cells that do not have a rigid cell wall. With the exception of sponges (yes, sponges are animals), cells are organized in tissues that in turn make up specialized organs such as heart or brain.
Many animals establish the shape of the body in the early stages of its development, but others undergo radical transformations translated into a process called metamorphosis. That’s the case with butterflies.
They’re heterotroph organisms.
Animals feed on other organisms because they are unable to produce their food from their own organic substances. Almost all animals are equipped with a useful mobile mouth to hold and/or chew food.
They can feed actively as most of those who move, or passively, do when they take advantage of the food particles suspended in the middle and pick them up when they pass near their mouth.
Some other animals feed by filtration; there is no better example of this feeding process than that performed by whales with beards, which swim and filter water to capture small organisms.
They make gas exchange
Animals breathe and this involves a process of gas exchange between the inside and the outside of cells. This requires oxygen to convert food into energy, a process that fires carbon dioxide. Gas exchange takes place in varied ways.
Some animals do it through:
- Branch tube system.
- Type of blood circulation that carries the gases through the body.
They have a sensory system
With the exception of jellyfish, the animals have networks of nerve cells that react to external stimuli. They have a structure called a receiver that detects a change in the environment, a driver through which the signal is moved to the center of the coordination and an effectr, that is, an organ responsible for responding to the stimulus. Most animals have organs of the senses that are concentrated in the head area.
Exhibised mobile behaviors
All animals are able to make movements and many can slide, rebuke, run, fly, etc. Maybe mussels spend most of their lives hooked on a rock, but even there they run water pumping movements. The modes of displacement are diverse.
For example, some marine animals do so through body ripples, others by expelling a jet of water.