Examples of Vertebrate and Invertebrate Animals

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: July 17, 2018
Examples of Vertebrate and Invertebrate Animals

Are you looking for examples of vertebrate and invertebrate animals? Planet Earth has extensive biodiversity, which is traditionally classified into taxonomic ranks, although scientists are always re-thinking these categories. The first of these ranks is domain; Archea, Bacteria and Eukarya. The last one includes all living organisms the cell - or cells - of which have a nucleus and therefore includes animals. The domain Eukarya includes five or six kingdoms; Animalia, Fungi, Plantae, Protista and Monera (which can be spit into Eubacteria and Archaebacteria).

The animal kingdom - Animalia - includes human beings. The species of this group are characterized by feeding on plants or other animals and using their sensory organs to interact with what's around them.

‘Animals’, in turn, are classified into multiple lower categories and ranks. Roughly, we can make the distinction between vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Keep reading this AnimalWised article to discover the characteristics of both groups, and the animals that belong to each one.

You may also be interested in: Major Groups of Invertebrate Animals

What are vertebrate animals?

The main characteristic of this group of animals is that they possess vertebrae. Commonly known as a spine, this is a highly specialized bone-type which joins together to compose a backbone. Its function is to protect and sustain the spinal cord and connect it to the nervous system. These animals are distinguished by their bilateral symmetry, and the fact that they have a skull to protect their brain.

The bodies of vertebrate animals are divided into head, trunk and limbs, while some species also have a tail. Another important feature is that vertebrates have different sexes. There are approximately 62,000 animal species that belong to this group, so we have a wide range to choose our examples.

Examples of Vertebrate and Invertebrate Animals - What are vertebrate animals?

What are invertebrate animals?

Invertebrates are characterized by their lack of vertebrae, i.e. they don't have a backbone. We don't mean this as a slight against their character, but invertebrates are often seen as being not a sophisticated as vertebrate animals. This is not true, of course. They just exist in a different way and are adapted to their environment differently. Although we tend to think of vertebrates when we talk about animals, the truth is that invertebrates make up the majority of the animal kingdom - around 95% of all animal species.

Invertebrate animals aren't able to colonize territories or adapt to different environments, unlike vertebrate animals. Examples of invertebrates and their habitat include jellyfish which live in the sea, bees which fly in the air and earthworms which live underground.

Examples of Vertebrate and Invertebrate Animals - What are invertebrate animals?

Examples of vertebrate animals

Vertebrate animals can be categorized into 5 main groups: Mammals, birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles. The following are examples of vertebrate animals, some of them given by their generic names; when we say "deer", we mean that all the species of deer are vertebrates, for instance. We can't give you a full vertebrate animals list as we don't have the space. We can give you a list of vertebrates which are well-known to give you an idea of what we mean.





  • Chinese giant salamander
  • Common frog
  • European fire-bellied toad
  • Goliath frog
  • Iberian ribbed newt
  • Leaf green tree frog
  • Panamanian golden frog
  • Pool frog
  • Red-eyed tree frog
  • Rough-skinned newt
  • Spotted salamander
  • South American caecilian
  • Tiger salamander


Examples of Vertebrate and Invertebrate Animals - Examples of vertebrate animals

Examples of invertebrate animals

Invertebrates are not a taxon like vertebrates are, but rather a generic name for all the animals that do not have a vertebral column or spine. There are millions of invertebrate species, as more animals do not have a spine than have one.

Some invertebrates have shells, that is, hard exoskeletons. Others have a skeleton filled with fluid, that is, a hydrostatic skeleton. Some of them have legs, while others do not. Among the best-known invertebrate phyla we can find the following (we have included examples of invertebrate animals to give you an idea):

  • Annelids: Ringed or segmented worms, including earthworms and leeches.
  • Arthropods: Animals with a segmented body, appendages and an exoskeleton, including arachnids like scorpions and spiders, crustaceans like crabs, lobsters and shrimp, and insects like ants, bees, beetles, butterflies, crickets, dragonflies, flies, grasshoppers, mosquitoes, moths, praying mantises and stick insects.
  • Cnidaria: Aquatic animals made up of a fluid substance, including corals, jellyfish and sea anemones.
  • Echinoderms: Spiny, radial marine animals including sea cucumbers, sea urchins and starfish.
  • Molluscs: Terrestrial and aquatic, include bivalves like mussels and oysters, cephalopods such as cuttlefish, squids and octopus and gastropods like slugs and snails.
  • Porifora: Jelly-textured animals with porous bodies through which water can circulate. Examples of invertebrate animals in this category are underwater sponges.
Examples of Vertebrate and Invertebrate Animals - Examples of invertebrate animals

How are animals classified?

Owing to the large number of vertebrate and invertebrate animal species, it is practically impossible to make an exhaustive list that accounts for all animals. However, it is easy to differentiate them roughly and classify them depending on whether they have a spine or not.

There are many different ways of classifying animals. One of them is their morphology and anatomy - vertebrate or invertebrate - but animals are also classified according to their diet. Stay with us to discover:

If you want to read similar articles to Examples of Vertebrate and Invertebrate Animals, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

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teresa stoppler
Can I give my little dog and cat CBD oil in they,re drinking water and how much?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Teresa,

Thanks for the question. CBD oil is a relatively recent phenomenon, but there is some evidence to suggest it has benefits for certain human conditions. However, there are few conclusive studies and the methodology is not always up to standard. Studies for dogs are equally, if not more so, lacking in conclusive evidence.

There is little evidence to suggest CBD oil will do much damage, but it is generally used to maintain a calm state of well-being or to reduce aches and pains (again, effectiveness is not yet conclusively proven). If your dog does not have anxiety or is not in pain, then there is little reason to give them it at all. While there may not be much evidence to support severe side effects, some symptoms such as diarrhea may occur. For these reasons, there is little reason to put your dog at risk of potentially bad side effects (even if they are mild) when there is no provable benefit to them. More important is meeting their nutritional needs, reducing stress and providing sufficient mental and physical stimulation.
nice web :)
this amazing
web keep going but more pics plz !
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Bobby,

Thanks for the kind words. If you click on the link of the lists of animals you'll get even more pictures to browse for the individual animal. Hope you enjoy having a look around!
bob smith
it really helped me
Administrador AnimalWised
Hey Bob,

We're really glad to hear it!
monthusi maphakela
thanks, very good article
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Devesh Mishra
Good ..........................
Really useful, thanks for that!!!

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