The New Evolution: Zoogenesis

By Austin H. Clark | Go to book overview

APPENDIX B
THE MAJOR GROUPS OF ANIMALS

VERTEBRATA -- the backboned animals. -- This very large group includes the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes which together are represented by about fifty thousand different species. The structure is very complex, and the size ranges from a length of 110 feet in the great blue whale as found in the Antarctic down to about three-quarters of an inch in the smallest adult fish. But all vertebrates are relatively large, and the average size is far larger than in any other group. Vertebrates are found everywhere, in every region and from the highest mountain tops down to the ocean floor. The animal from the greatest depth in the sea at which animals have been found (19,806 feet) is a fish. Most vertebrates live on land. The fishes, however, live chiefly in the sea; also living and breeding in the sea are the whales, except for a few fresh water dolphins in South America and Asia, ans the sea-snakes. (Fig. 2., p. 5.)

CEPHALOCHORDA -- Amphioxus (Branchiostoma) and its allies. -- This is a very small group including only a few species which look like small colorless semitransparent fishes headless and pointed at each end. They live partially buried in sand. They are found only in the sea in shallow water and at moderate depths, and are widely distributed, though very local.

BALANOGLOSSIDA. -- A small group confined to the sea wherein they are very widely distributed. Like sponges, they have a disagreeable and usually strong smell which sometimes imparts a flavor to the fishes that feed on them. (Fig. 94, p. 175, young.)

CEPHALODISCIDA. -- A very small group including a very few species of two quite different types (Cephalodiscus [fig. 61, p. III] and Rhabdopleura [fig. 63, p. III]. They are found only in the sea in shallow water and in water of moderate depth and are widely distributed, though apparently very local.

TUNICATA -- the sea-squirts, sea-peaches, pvrosomas and their relatives. -- This is a large and highly diversified group entirely confined to the sea. The various species are found in all seas at all depths, but most of them live in shallow water. Some live attached to the bottom, while others float freely in the water.

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