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if an animalia taxon ends in “ata”

If an Animalia Taxon Ends in “Ata”

If an Animalia Taxon Ends in “Ata”

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If an Animalia taxon ends in “ata”:

it may be a Phylum
it must be a Phylum
it could be a Phylum or Class
it could be a Phylum or Order

if an animalia taxon ends in "ata"
if an animalia taxon ends in “ata”

Phylum Definition

Phylum is a taxonomic ranking that comes third in the hierarchy of classification, after domain and kingdom. Organisms in a phylum share a set a characteristics that distinguishes them from organisms in another phylum. The qualities that group animals into a phylum have changed throughout scientific history, as better methods have arisen to determine how groups of animals are related. Modern phylogenic systematics, or simply phylogenetics, uses a variety of traits to map the changes between different groups of animals.

Different hypotheses of how a phylum is related to other phyla (plural of phylum) create different cladograms, which display the relationships visually. The cladogram that is the most parsimonious, or has the fewest number of changes, is usually accepted as the most likely hypothesis of the relationships between different phyla. Plants, protists, and bacteria have also been categorized into divisions historically. The word was later changed to phylum.

There are approximately 35 animal phyla, 12 plant phyla, and 7 phyla of fungi. The bacteria, including the archaea, are grouped into roughly 34 phyla, although the relationships between these groups are not as well established. The exact numbers of phyla are never known for sure, as new evidence and techniques are discovered. For instance, with the advent of genetic testing many groups that were thought to be monophyletic were found to have very different genetics.

Monophyletic is a term that describes a complete group, with all the common ancestors. Polyphyletic groups contain organisms that do not share a recent ancestor, and many more groups would have to be included to make the phylum monophyletic. In these cases, the phylum is split into multiple phyla. Other times, two different phyla are found to be closely related and will be combined into the same phylum.

if an animalia taxon ends in "ata"
if an animalia taxon ends in “ata”

Examples of Phylum

Phylum Chordata

Think of an animal that lives in the zoo. Unless you thought of an octopus or one of the insects in the rainforest pavilion, chances are you thought of an animal in the phylum Chordata. This phylum includes all animals with a notochord, a dorsal hollow nerve chord, and a muscular postanal tail. These three features are seen in every member of this phylum, even humans. Like humans, many animals lose some of these features as they develop. This phylum includes everything from the smallest fish and tunicates, to the great apes. It is one of 88 different known phyla. It terms of species, it only has around 50,000 described species. The other phyla combined have well over 2 million described species, with the phylum Arthropoda having well over a million described species itself.

Phylum Arthropoda

By far the largest individual phylum, the Arthropoda includes all the segmented animals will hard skeletons that we know as insects and crustaceans. Everything from deep sea crabs to mosquitoes fit in this phylum. The diversity of the arthropods comes from their ability to adapt their hard exoskeleton into almost any shape or function. Because of this, the arthropods have adapted to survive in every environment on the planet.


Phylum Mollusca

This phylum is where the octopus and its relatives are grouped together. The mollusks include all the snails, slugs, clams, mussels, squids and other soft-bodied animals. They often secrete a shell to protect their soft bodies. As the individuals die over time, their shells are shed to the bottom, where they accumulate. Waves push the shells and coral matter onto the beach, where it is repeatedly crushed by the waves. In this way, mollusk shells contribute a large majority of the sand that exists on the best beaches. While most of the members are relatively unintelligent and rely on sessile filter feeding, many species are very intelligent, competing with organisms like dolphins and pigs. Different species of octopus, for instance, have completed highly complex tasks to obtain food. Some squid hunt in large predatory packs which work cooperatively to bring down large prey.

if an animalia taxon ends in "ata"
if an animalia taxon ends in “ata”
  • Kingdom – The classification group above phyla, which includes organisms of a certain type, like animals.
  • Class – The ranking below phyla, whose members share the characters of the phylum, but are have advanced characters that make them unique.
  • Classification – The process of organizing the life on Earth into a meaningful framework for understanding the relationships between animals.
  • Phylogenetics – Comparing the relationship between animals by comparing many of their traits at once.

A classification of living organisms

Recent advances in biochemical and electron microscopic techniques, as well as in testing that investigates the genetic relatedness among species, have redefined previously established taxonomic relationships and have fortified support for a five-kingdom classification of living organisms. This alternative scheme is presented below and is used in the major biological articles. In it, the prokaryotic Monera continue to comprise the bacteria, although techniques in genetic homology have defined a new group of bacteria, the Archaebacteria, that some biologists believe may be as different from bacteria as bacteria are from other eukaryotic organisms. The eukaryotic kingdoms now include the Plantae, Animalia, Protista, and Fungi, or Mycota.

The protists are predominantly unicellular, microscopic, nonvascular organisms that do not generally form tissues. Exhibiting all modes of nutrition, protists are frequently motile organisms, primarily using flagella, cilia, or pseudopodia. The fungi, also nonvascular organisms, exhibit an osmotrophic type of heterotrophic nutrition. Although the mycelium may be complex, they also exhibit only simple tissue differentiation, if any at all. Their cell walls usually contain chitin, and they commonly release spores during reproduction. The plants are multicellular, multitissued, autotrophic organisms with cellulose-containing cell walls.

The vascular plants possess roots, stems, leaves, and complex reproductive organs. Their life cycle shows an alternation of generations between haploid (gametophyte) and diploid (sporophyte) generations. The animals are multicellular, multitissued, heterotrophic organisms whose cells are not surrounded by cell walls. Animals generally are independently motile, which has led to the development of organ and tissue systems. The monerans, the only prokaryotic kingdom in this classification scheme, is principally made up of the bacteria. They are generally free-living unicellular organisms that reproduce by fission.

if an animalia taxon ends in "ata"
if an animalia taxon ends in “ata”

Their genetic material is concentrated in a non-membrane-bound nuclear area. Motility in bacteria is by a flagellar structure that is different from the eukaryotic flagellum. Most bacteria have an envelope that contains a unique cell wall, peptidoglycan, the chemical nature of which imparts a special staining property that is taxonomically significant (i.e., gram-positive, gram-negative, acid-fast).

The use of “division” by botanists and “phylum” by zoologists for equivalent categories leads to a rather awkward situation in the Protista, a group of interest to both botanists and zoologists. As used below, the terms follow prevailing usage: phylum for the primarily animal-like protozoa and division for other protistan groups that are more plantlike and of interest primarily to botanists.

The discussion above shows the difficulty involved in classification. For example, one traditional classification of the Aschelminthes, presented below and in the article aschelminth, divides the phylum Aschelminthes into five classes: Rotifera, Gastrotricha, Kinorhyncha, Nematoda, and Nematomorpha. An alternative classification elevates these classes to phyla, and still another classification establishes different relationships between the groups—phylum Gastrotricha, phylum Rotifera, phylum Nematoda (containing classes Adenophorea, Secernentea, and Nematomorpha), and phylum Introverta (containing classes Kinorhyncha, Loricifera, Priapulida, and Acanthocephala). The true relationships between these pseudocoelomates remain to be established.

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