Chapter 19: From Fish to Birds


This stunning bird is a peacock. Do you know why he is spreading out his big, colorful tail feathers like a fan? He is trying to attract a female for mating. Many other vertebrates have similar behaviors for attracting mates. Even fish display some remarkably sophisticated mating behaviors.

Fish and birds are both vertebrates. Vertebrates are a diverse and fascinating group of animals. In many ways, they are very different from the invertebrates described in previous chapters. Elaborate mating behaviors are just one way they differ. This chapter describes many other differences between vertebrates and invertebrates. It also describes in detail the classes of vertebrates from fish to birds.

Chapter Outline

19.1 Overview of Vertebrates

19.2 Fish

19.3 Amphibians

19.4 Reptiles

19.5 Birds

Opening image copyright J. McPhail, 2010. Used under license from

For first Table in chapter 19, from top to bottom,

For second Table in chapter 19, from top to bottom,

For third Table in chapter 19, from top to bottom,

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