Animal Kingdom Concept Map


The Animal Kingdom is extraordinarily diverse in form and it constitutes millions of species. Studying them individually becomes difficult. This is simplified by classifying animals based on its anatomical features. Since this detailed classification is difficult to memorize, a map establishing the connection between different organisms can be created. The features are given based on the organization, class, phyla, order, etc. This universal classification helps students, enthusiasts and zoologists easily identify the animal easily without any hassle.

How is an animal classification map designed

The map is designed in the form of a flowchart in which animals are classified according to their uniqueness and characteristics. For classification, the most studied part is their anatomical feature which starts with the spinal cord.

They are broadly classified into vertebrates and invertebrates based on the presence of the spinal cord and backbone

Vertebrates include the following classes−

  • fish (breath with gills and live in water),

  • amphibians (cold−blooded and live on land and water),

  • reptiles (cold−blooded breath with lungs reproduce with eggs),

  • birds (warm−blooded and feather except for Penguins and ostrich), and

  • mammals (warm−blooded).

Invertebrates include the following classes−

  • Porifera (aquatic invertebrates; sponges)

  • Cnidaria (aquatic invertebrates; coelenterates)

  • Platyhelminthes (unsegmented flat bodied worms)

  • Annelida (segmented or ringed worms)

  • Mollusca (unsegmented soft bodied animals enclosed within a calcareous shell)

  • Echinodermata (marine animals with spiny and hard skin or covering)

  • Arthropoda (segmented invertebrates with paired jointed appendages and exoskeleton)

Benefits of using concept map of animal kingdom

Concept maps built on the available information on animal taxa are dynamic elements for learning in zoology and for better understanding. The benefits are given below.

1. Ease of locating species in classification maps

The classification map helps in positioning species and understanding their phylogenetic relationship to other species by determining their genetic similarity

2. Concentrating on R.H. Whittaker proposed map

R.H. Whittaker aligned many fields within Ecology systematics and evolution. Perhaps his most insignificant contribution was the 5 Kingdom classification. The proposed map of R.H. Whittaker concentrates on the distribution of different mountain ranges and their impact on our environment. The map indicates a different elevation of mountains and the highest elevation is represented by the darkest shading. The map explains how different mountain ranges influence the distribution of different plants and animals and how the barriers of mountains and rivers isolated different species and led to the development of a new ecosystem

3. Understanding of each organizational level on the map

The concept of a map help in understanding each organization level. The map of the organization is done on different criteria which start with molecule cell tissue organ system organisms’ ecosystem. At the molecular level, the smallest unit of matter is an atom and molecule each one is a part of the previous one. This whole makes the ecosystem consist of a number of organisms and their environment

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4. Body symmetry

The symmetry refers to the correspondence of different body parts in terms of size shape position whether on the opposite sides of the dividing line or on the Central pointer axis the radial symmetry part is arranged in a regular fashion in bilateral to other access

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5. Germ layers

The concept map helps in understanding the embryonic layer. During embryonic development, certain layers of cells give rise to a specific set of organs. These are called germ layers. Certain organisms like jellyfish, sea anemones, and corals, have two layers of cells namely endoderm and ectoderm and are called diploblastic organisms. Organisms like worms, arthropods, and vertebrates have three layers of cells− endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm that give rise to all tissues of the body. They are called triploblastic organisms

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R. H. Whittaker's five−kingdom classification

During the early period of classification all organisms were initially classified as either animals or plants. In the year 1969 Robert H. Whittaker, an American taxonomist, gave the five kingdom classification. This classification included Monera (prokaryotes), Protista fungi Plantae and Animalia

  • Monera comprises of prokaryotes with cellular organization

  • Protista consist of unicellular eukaryotes

  • Fungi comprises of multicellular eukaryotes that obtain their nutrition heterotrophically through absorption

  • Plantae comprises of multicellular eukaryotes which are photoautotrophic; which can prepare their own food.

  • Animalia comprises of multicellular eukaryotes that obtain their nutrition heterotrophically by ingestion

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Characteristic of 5 kingdoms−

Kingdom Monera Protista Fungi Plantae Animalia
Cell type Prokaryotic Eukaryotic Eukaryotic Eukaryotic Eukaryotic
Nuclear envelope Absent Present Present Present Present
Cell wall Non-Cellulose Present in some forms, various types Chitin and other non cellulose polysaccharides Cellulose and other polysaccharides Absent
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic (Chemosynthetic or photosynthetic) or heterotrophic Autotrophic (Photosynthetic) or heterotrophic or combination of these Heterotrophic Autotrophic (Photosynthetic) Heterotrophic
Multicellularity Absent Absent in most forms Present in most forms Present in most forms Present in most forms
Genetic recombination(if present) Conjugation, transduction and transformation Fertilization and meiosis Fertilization and meiosis Fertilization and meiosis Fertilization and meiosis

Classification of the Animal kingdom based on its organisation

Metazoan (multicellular organisms) and protozoa (protozoa)

Ernst Haeckel, a German zoologist first used the term Protista. Protists are mostly unicellular organisms. Most prokaryotes are single−celled organisms. Protists undergo both sexual and asexual reproduction. They are free−living or can be symbiotically associated with another organism. The symbiotic relationship can be mutualistic, where both partners get benefits, and parasitic, where the protists uses their host as a source of shelter or food without any advantage. The reproduction in diatoms is primarily sexual by binary fission each daughter cell receives half of the parental cell and generates a new half that fits inside it.

Animals are multicellular eukaryotes with heterotrophic nutrition they are extraordinarily diverse in form of constituting millions of species. If we talk about the level of organization animals are multicellular but all of them do not exhibit the same pattern of cellular organization

Body plan

A set of morphological and development traits that are generally integrated into the functional unit are referred to as a body plan. The three types of body plans are−

  • Acoelomate− lacks coelom

  • Pseudocoelomate− an absence of true coelom

  • Coelomate− has true coelom

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Body symmetry

It refers to the duplication of body shapes or parts, along a particular axis or central point.

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Body symmetry

It refers to the duplication of body shapes or parts, along a particular axis or central point.

Respiratory system

Structure of the respiratory system vary in composition and complexity. They are composed of different organs that deliver oxygen via the circulatory system to all of the cells in the body. The human respiratory system comprises the lungs, the associated airways and the blood vessels. They help in the removal of carbon dioxide from the body.

The excretory system

The process by which the metabolic waste of products is eliminated from the body is called excretion. The nitrogenous waste ammonia, urea and uric acid are the most important metabolic wastes excreted by animals. Organisms can be classified into different groups based on their excretory product

  • Ammonotelics excrete ammonia. Example− fresh water and marine invertebrates, crocodiles, bony fishes, etc.

  • Ureotelics excrete urea. Example− turtles, mammals, adult amphibians, etc.

  • Uricotelics excrete uric acid. Example− reptiles, insects, birds, and land gastropods.

  • Guanotelics excrete guanine. Example− spiders and scorpions


Animals can reproduce both asexually and sexually. In sexual reproduction, two distinct cells fuse to forms a zygote. The gametes are haploid while the zygote is diploid. In asexual reproduction, only one parent is needed for the formation of offspring that are genetically identical to the parent


The animal kingdom is a vast topic. The concept of a map gives a brief inside about the topic in the form of a flowchart. Concept maps exhibit the relationship between different concepts provided in the topic.


1. Which waste product requires the maximum amount of water to be excreted?

Ammonia requires the maximum amount of water to be excreted. This is because it is toxic in concentrated solution.

2. What are the ways of using concept maps?

  • Curriculum design

  • Writing

  • Revision

  • Understanding text

3. Name the different types of asexual reproduction seen in animals

Fission, budding, fragmentation, spore formation, and regeneration are modes of asexual reproduction seen in animals (both microscopic and macroscopic)

4. Which features of concept mapping are more useful than outlining or vice versa?

Outlining has been more effective for learning and assessment this help in studying the whole original passage keeping the main ideas and keeping in mind.

5. Is concept mapping a successful method in education?

Concept mapping is a technique which help the students to understand the relation between the ideas by the creation a visual map of connection. It allows them to link new ideas to the knowledge they already have and allows future information or viewpoint to be included


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