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ANIMALS

CLASSIFYING

ANIMALS

INVERTEBRATES

FISHES

Over 95 percent of all animals are invertebrates. They are characterized by a structure
that they all lack: a backbone or vertebral column. Invertebrates are divided into about
30 phyla, each displaying a distinct body form. Their evolutionary relationships can be

Any study of the fishes shows that they are an immensely diverse array of animals.
differing greatly in the range of habitats they occupy and their body forms and

adaptations. As a consequence, most biologists regard the term "fishes," as a


convenient name, rather than a closely defined taxonomic entity, that describes
aquatic vertebrates such as haqfishes, lampreys, sharks, rays, lungfishes, sturgeons,
gars, and the advanced

ray-finned

fishes. There are a number

of classification

schemes

for the fishes but one of the most widely accepted recent ones recognizes five classes
of living species and three classes that are now extinct. The five classes, whose
classification is detailed below, are hagfishes, lampreys, cartilaginous fishes, lobefinned fishes, and ray-finned fishes. These are grouped into two superdasses: jawless
fishes and jawed fishes. The three extinct classes are the pteraspidomorphs-jawless

inferred from their anatomy, their early development, and more recently from
molecular analyses, particularly DNA, the genetic code. Features that define phyla
include the organization of the body from a loose association of cells (Porifera),
through tissue formation (Cnidaria) to the development of organs (Platyhelminthes)
The acquisition of a fluid-filled body cavity was a defining point in animal evolution
that allowed animals, such as Nematoda, Annelida, and many other phyla of worms,
to move about by an hydraulic system driven by fluid pressure. The origin and form of
these body cavities characterize different phyla. While these phyla are soft-bodied.
others are protected and supported by various types of skeletons,
such as shells in Mollusca and a jointed
exoskeleton in Arthropoda. The division

armored fishes, the jawed placoderms that were encased in bony plates, and the
acanthcoiens,
small true bony fishes with two long dorsal spines.

of the body into segments allowed for


specialization of parts of the body.
In arthropods, this has led to
the development of segmental
appendages that carry out
specific functions, such as
sensory perception, feeding
and locomotion. Details of

'!l~!!!~~"!!::'''''''~~!!::S::i::i~

lAWLESSFISHES
SuperclassAgnatha
Lampreysarid haqfishes

'

.......

JAWEDFISHES
Superclass Gnathostomata
(includesall the groups below)

Supercla55 Agnatha.

page 453

CARTILAGINOUS
FISHES"Chondrichthyes"
ClassChondrichthyes
Sharks,rays,and allies

early embryonic development


divide many advanced phyla
into two lineages, one leading
through the Echinodermata to
the Chordata, the phylum to which
vertebrates belong, the other containing
the bulk of animal phyla. While molecular

SubclassElasmobranchii
Sharks
Raysand allies
SubclassHolocephali
Chimaeras
BONYFISHES"Osteichthyes"
ClassSarcopterygii
Lungfishesand allies
ClassActinopterygii
SubclassChondrostei
Bichirsand allies

Subclass Elasmobranchii,

page

462

SubclassNeopterygii
PrimitiveNeopterygii
(gars and bowfin)

PhylumChordata
InvertebrateChordates
SubphylumUrochordata
Seasquirts

Division reieoste

SubphylumCephalochordata
Lancelets

SubdivisionOsteoqlossomorpha
Bonytonguesand allies

Subdivision

05teoglossomorpha,

page 472

Phylum enidaria, page 520

analyses have confirmed many of our ideas


about the course of evolution based on anatomy and development, there are a
number of instances where they are at variance. Hence, our classificatory system
is undergoing revision. Furthermore, the continual identification of new species of
invertebrates indicates that we are nowhere near their full inventory, and certainly
far from understanding their vital roles in the sustainability of ecosystems

SubdivisionElopomorpha
Eelsand allies

PhylumPorifera
Sponges

SubdivisionClupeomorpha
Sardinesand allies

PhylumCnidaria
Cnidarians(sea anemones,corals,jellyfishes,etc.)

SubdivisionEuteleostei
(includesall the groups below)

PhylumPlatyhelminthes
flatworms

SuperorderOstariophysi
Catfish and allies

PhylumNematoda
Roundworms

SuperorderProtacanthopterygii
Salmonsand allies

PhylumMollusca
Mollusks(bivalves,snails,squids,etc.)

Superoroer Stenopterygii
Draqonfishes and allies

PhylumAnnelida
Segmentedworms

Cyclosquamata
Lizardfishesand allies

PhylumArthropoda
Arthropods

Superorder

Scopelomorpha
Lanternfishes
Supercrder

Phylum Mollusca. page

Supercrder

Polymixiomorpha
Beardfishes

ClassArachnida
Arachnids

SuperorderLampridiomorpha
Opahsarid allies

ClassMerostomata
Horseshoecrabs

Paracanthopterygii
Cod, anqlerfishes. and allies

ClassPycnogonida
Seaspiders

Superorder

SuperorderAcanthopterygii
Spiny-rayedfishes

525

SubphylumChelicerata
rf-euceretes

SubphylumMyriapoda
Myriapods(centipedes,etc.)

ClassArachnida, page 536