Organisms that comprise the Kingdom of Animalia are distinguished by being multicellular eukaryotic and heterotophic (do not produce their own food). Animals lack cell walls. Muscle and nervous tissues can only be found in animals. Sexual reproduction is done by most species and the major part of the life cycle is diploid. Many species undergo metamorphosis that transforms them from the larval to adult stages. In addition most species we study will have 3 tissue layers the endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm that is formed from the gastulation of the blastulla. Animals are also heterotophs in in in that they get their food energy by eating other organisms. In this manner they comprise the consumer layers of the most food webs.
The animal Kingdom has been divided into 35 phylum. In our unit we will focus on the collection and identification of terrestrial Arthropods (insects), Chordates( amphibians, reptiles mammals and birds) and the Annelida (segmented worms like earthworms).