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Grouping Vertebrates

In this worksheet, students will practise basic classification by grouping animals with backbones according to the features we can see.

'Grouping Vertebrates' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Living Things and Their Habitats

Curriculum subtopic:   Grouping

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Scientists like to be organised. So, that means that all living things are grouped according to features which we can see (and some we can't!).

To start with, organisms are grouped as plants or animals - it makes humans feel 'comfortable' to have them sorted out!

 

Then, animals are divided into two groups: those with a backbone, the VERTEBRATES...

Lizard Cow


and those without, the INVERTEBRATES.

Lobster Tarantula

 

VERTEBRATES have a hard skeleton inside their bodies which gives them their shape. These animals are grouped as FISH, AMPHIBIANS, REPTILES, BIRDS and MAMMALS.  Oo, so much to find out about - let's get sorting!

A vertebrate is an animal with...

a hard shell

two legs

a backbone

The animals in five of these groups are vertebrates. Which five are they?  TICK the ones you think are vertebrates.

mammals

insects

birds

reptiles

molluscs

fish

amphibians

 

Trout Clown fish


What three similarities do trout and clown fish share?

 

Tick THREE boxes.

scales

wings

gills

pattern

fins

Frogs, toads and newts belong to which vertebrate group?

Frog

fish

reptiles

amphibians

AMPHIBIANS - frogs, toads and newts have four legs, smooth skin and lay eggs.

 

Frog

 

But there is something special about amphibians. Complete the sentence: "they spend part of their lifecycle ...

in trees

in water

indoors

Pigeon Hen

What three similarities do these birds share?

 

Tick THREE boxes.

two legs

wings

sharp teeth

covered in feathers

gills

Snakes, lizards, tortoises and crocodiles all belong to which vertebrate group?

Snake Crocodile

 

mammals

reptiles

amphibians

fish

Pets

Matthew thinks about all of his lovely pets. Which two things are the same about these animals?

 

Tick TWO boxes.

they have fur

they have four legs

they eat the same food

they cannot swim

All of Matthew's pets belong to which vertebrate group?

reptiles

amphibians

mammals

Dolphin

Dolphins, whales and porpoises can be grouped together. Why do you think that they are grouped together?

 

Tick THREE boxes.

they live in water

they breathe using gills

they breathe using lungs

they are mammals

they are furry

  • Question 1

A vertebrate is an animal with...

CORRECT ANSWER
a backbone
EDDIE SAYS
That's right - VERTEBRATES are backboned animals (like you!). In fact, that backbone (or spine) is made up of smaller bones called VERTEBRAE that link together to give your body support. Makes sense, huh?
  • Question 2

The animals in five of these groups are vertebrates. Which five are they?  TICK the ones you think are vertebrates.

CORRECT ANSWER
mammals
birds
reptiles
fish
amphibians
EDDIE SAYS
Yes, it's the fish, amphibians (frogs, etc.), reptiles (even snakes!), birds and mammals. Molluscs include snails, slugs and things like mussels and whelks and they are all animals without a backbone. Insects have an exoskeleton on the outside of their bodies to support them.
  • Question 3

 

Trout Clown fish


What three similarities do trout and clown fish share?

 

Tick THREE boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
scales
gills
fins
EDDIE SAYS
Fish are fish because they breathe underwater with gills and use fins to control their swimming. Most of them have scales (different to reptiles' scales) but fish like sharks have a rough skin instead - still fish though!
  • Question 4

Frogs, toads and newts belong to which vertebrate group?

Frog

CORRECT ANSWER
amphibians
EDDIE SAYS
Yup, it's amphibians - they all have a moist skin that they breathe through (when they need to) and their young all start off living in water ... like tadpoles.
  • Question 5

AMPHIBIANS - frogs, toads and newts have four legs, smooth skin and lay eggs.

 

Frog

 

But there is something special about amphibians. Complete the sentence: "they spend part of their lifecycle ...

CORRECT ANSWER
in water
EDDIE SAYS
Amphibians lay their eggs in water. The hatching tadpoles breathe using gills, which disappear as the tadpoles grow into frogs.
  • Question 6
Pigeon Hen

What three similarities do these birds share?

 

Tick THREE boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
two legs
wings
covered in feathers
EDDIE SAYS
Neither of them have teeth as they are birds, so they have beaks instead. They don't have gills as they don't need to breath underwater. Feathers are what makes a bird, a bird. Not all of them fly (ostrich, penguin, etc.) but they all have feathers and they all lay eggs.
  • Question 7

Snakes, lizards, tortoises and crocodiles all belong to which vertebrate group?

Snake Crocodile

 

CORRECT ANSWER
reptiles
EDDIE SAYS
Reptiles all have dry scaly skin and most lay eggs. That's a problem for turtles who have to come up on to the beach to lay their eggs. Predators (and people) dig up the eggs and when the baby tutrtles hatch out they have a dangerous journey across the beach to reach the water - everyone wants to eat them! Anyway, most reptiles have four legs - but, of course, snakes have no legs!
  • Question 8

Pets

Matthew thinks about all of his lovely pets. Which two things are the same about these animals?

 

Tick TWO boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
they have fur
they have four legs
EDDIE SAYS
Pets can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and they're not always mammals - some people keep snakes, tropical fish ... even spiders (eek!). Matthew prefers his cuddly mammals, like his rabbit and hamster, and they're all furry - which is one reason he loves them!
  • Question 9

All of Matthew's pets belong to which vertebrate group?

CORRECT ANSWER
mammals
EDDIE SAYS
Of course! Mammals - they are the furry ones and they also give birth to living young, like lambs, puppies, etc. and feed them with milk. As well as that mammals are 'warm-blooded'. Reptiles and amphibians don't fit any of these characteristics.
  • Question 10

Dolphin

Dolphins, whales and porpoises can be grouped together. Why do you think that they are grouped together?

 

Tick THREE boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
they live in water
they breathe using lungs
they are mammals
EDDIE SAYS
Whales and dolphins are mammals, just like you! They have adapted to living in seas and oceans, but breathe air using lungs, and they still have mammal characteristics like 'warm blood', giving birth to living young which they feed with milk. They have lost their fur, to make them more streamlined, but I think they still have eyelashes!
---- OR ----

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