Animals are one of the basic groups of life on Earth. Scientists have grouped animals into classes to make it easier to study them. There are many different animal classes and every animal in the world belongs to one of them.  The five most known classes of vertebrates (animals with backbones) are mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians.

There are also a lot of animals without backbones.  These are called invertebrates like arachnids (spiders) and insects.


People are mammals.  So are dogs, cats, horses, duckbill platypuses, kangaroos, dolphins and whales.  If an animal drinks milk when it is a baby and has hair on its body, it belongs to the mammal class.


Birds are animals that have feathers and that are born out of hard-shelled eggs. The feathers on a bird’s wings and tail overlap.  Because they overlap, the feathers catch and hold the air.  This helps the bird to fly, steer itself and land.


Fish are vertebrates that live in water and have gills, scales and fins on their body.  There are a lot of different fish and many of them look very odd indeed.  There are blind fish, fish with noses like elephants, fish that shoot down passing bugs with a stream of water and even fish that crawl onto land and hop about!


Reptiles are a class of animal with scaly skin.  They are cold blooded and are born on land. Snakes, lizards, crocodiles, alligators and turtles all belong to the reptile class.


Amphibians are born in the water.  When they are born, they breathe with gills like a fish.  But when they grow up, they develop lungs and can live on land.

Neil Demicoli/Kaydon Magro
Year 6 Leopards