Reminder: Clicking on the picture will take you to the site where I originally found it.

Welcome to your own kingdom - the kingdom of animals. Do you have what it takes to be an animal? Let's find out.

First of all, you have to be living. If you're reading this, it's a likely possibility you meet this requirement. Next, all animals are heterotrophic. This means that animals rely on other organisms for energy sources. That snack you had a while ago would categorize you as heterotrophic.

Next, you are required to be multicellular. If you do not meet this requirement, please send me a copy of your medical report. You cannot have cell walls, and at some stage in your development, you had to form layers. Again, please notify me if you don't qualify. Finally, you have to be mobile. I know that you may not feel mobile camped out in front of the computer, but any stage where you moved on your own power qualifies you as an animal.

But are you a typical animal? Not even close. If you were a typical animal, you'd definitely be boneless. Most likely you'd be a beetle. (John, Paul, George and Ringo don't even qualify.) Most of the animals we are most familiar with are a minority among a very diverse kingdom.
Beatles vs. beetles - who really rules the animal kingdom?

So now that we've established the rules for being an animal, lets get to know them better. We won't run through ALL the phyla because there are 33 of them. Most are unimpressive little critters, and I get tired of typing. We'll discuss the major groupings though. There are seven, and I'll put them on their own pages.

See sponges,
near the cnidarians,
meet the mollusks,
advance to the arthropods,
enquire about the echinoderms,
wade through the worms,
commune with the chordates or
over to the overview.