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Explain how animals in Vertebrata are classified into further subgroups.

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Vertebrates are classified into further subgroups on following bases: 

1. Pisces: The body is streamlined. Muscular tail is present which assists in locomotion. Body is covered with scales. Paired gills are present; which can breathe oxygen dissolved in water. They are cold-blooded animals. The heart has only two chambers. They lay eggs. 

2. Tetrapoda: Animals have four limbs for locomotion and hence the name tetrapoda. Tetrapoda is divided into four classes, viz. amphibia, reptilia, aves and mammalia. 

(a) Amphibia: These animals are adapted to live both in water and land. Mucus glands on skin keep the skin moist. The animals breathe through skin when in water and through lungs when on land. The heart has three chambers. These are cold blooded animals. Examples: Frog, toad, salamander, etc. 

(b) Reptilia: These animals show crawling movement for locomotion. Skin is hardened to form scales. Most of the reptilians have three chambered heart but crocodile has four-chambered heart. They don’t need water to lay eggs, rather eggs are covered with hard shells and laid on land. Examples: snakes, lizards, crocodile, turtle, etc. 

(c) Aves: The body is covered with feathers. Forelimbs are modified into wings. These are warm-blooded animals. The heart has four chambers. Bones are hollow (pneumatic); which assists in flying. All the birds belong to this class. 

(d) Mammalia: The body is covered with hairs. Skin has seat glands and sebaceous glands. Mammary glands are present in females and are used for nourishing the young ones. Most of the mammalians give birth to young ones and are called viviparous. Some of the mammals lay eggs and are called oviparous. Examples: human, chimpanzee, lion, platypus, horse, etc.

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