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Vertebrates are animals that have a back bone or spinal column. Animals that belong to the vertebrates group have a chain of bony elements from the head to the tail of the body. The vertebral that is present in the animals helps them in the locomotion.

All the animals that belongs to vertebrates also belongs to the phylum chordata which has a subphylum called vertebrata. Vertebrates represent only a small percentage in the total animals worlds. Though there are small in number their size and mobility.

Characteristics of vertebrates

The vertebrates posses the following characteristic.

Vertebrates are highly cephalized and have well developed organs. They have endoskeleton and a closed circulatory system. And they have the ability to regulate their body temperature.

Of the five class of vertebrates birds and mammals are endothermic in nature and the others like fish, amphibians, and reptiles are ectothermic in nature.

They have bony endoskeleton which consists of cranium, limb girdles, visceral arches and two pairs of appendages.

Muscles attached to the endoskeleton helps in locomotion and they have ventral hearts with 2 to 4 chambers.

Have a large digestive system with liver, digestive glands and pancreas. Also have well developed body cavity.

The bloods of the vertebrates contains red blood and white blood corpuscles. They have paired kidneys.

The general body plan of the vertebrates consists of head, trunk, appendages and post anal tail.

Classification of vertebrates

Vertebrates are classified into the following five classes

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