Invertebrates and Herps
What is an Invertebrate?
Invertebrates is any creature that does not have a backbone/spinal cord - for example: spiders, beetles, snails and sea stars are all invertebrates. This CLASS of animals is the most numerous on the planet, encompassing more than half of all discovered species.
What is a "Herp"?
"Herp" is a term many biologists, zoologists and naturalists use to lump amphibians and reptiles into the same group.
Although amphibians and reptiles look very similar, they are two distinct groups of animals. AMPHIBIANS are characterized by having (for the most part) fragile, water-permable skin, are cold blooded, lay their eggs in water and most spend their lives in close proximity to water. Animals like frogs, toads and salamanders are amphibians.
REPTILES, on the other hand, have dry scaly skin and lay their eggs on land. Many are specially adapted for living in very arid climates. Some spend most of their lives in water! All are cold-blooded and breathe air. Examples of reptiles are snakes, tortoises and alligators
What is a bird?
Birds are perhaps the most easily recognized group of animals. All birds have feathers, live on land and lay hard-shelled eggs. Unlike reptiles, birds will care for their hatchlings until they are able to fly and hunt for themselves.
Birds in the Rainforest Exhibit
Birds on Exhibit
What is a Mammal?
Mammals, despite there only being about 4,000 known species, are a complicated group of animals that can actually be subdivided in 3 sub-classes; Monotremes, Marsupials and Placental Mammals.
Monotremes are extremely rare-there are only 2 species left that represent this group: Duckbilled Platypus and Echidnas. Unlike other mammals which give birth to live young, montremes actually lay eggs.
Marsupials are mammals whose young are born extremely under-developed and complete their growth within their mother's pouch. Animals like Kangaroos and Koalas are marsupials.
Placental mammals are the most common group of mammals. The young are sustained within their mother's womb by an organ know as the placenta. Babies are born fully formed, but all require continued parental care. Examples of placental mammals are lions, monkeys and dolphins.
Regardless of which sub-class of mammal it falls into, ALL mammals receive milk from their mothers as infants, are warm-blooded and have hair/fur at some point in their lives.