North Campus Zoology

Zoology Collection: Kingdom Animalia

The North Campus Zoology Collection contains numerous specimens and models belonging to Kingdom Animalia. North Campus Biology and Zoology students primarily focus their studies on nine animal phyla: Phylum Porifera, Phylum Cnidaria, Phylum Platyhelminthes, Phylum Nematoda, Phylum Annelida, Phylum Mollusca, Phylum Arthropoda, Phylum Echinodermata, and Phylum Chordata.

Phyla in Kingdom Animalia are commonly divided into two groups, Invertebrates (no backbone) and Vertebrates (backbone). Phyla Porifera, Cnidaria, Platyhelmithyes, Nematoda, Mollusca, Annelida, Arthropoda, and Echinodermata are Invertebrates and share similar taxonomy characteristics while Phylum Chordata mostly consists of Vertebrates.

Phylum Chordata (Chordates), is distinguished by the presence of a notochord, a dorsal-hollow nerve cord, a post-anal tail, and pharyngeal slits. Phylum Chordata contains three subphyla (Urochordata, Cephalochordata, and Vertebrata). Subphylum Urochordata and Subphylum Cephalochordata are marine invertebrates, thus lacking a vertebral column or backbone. However, the presence of the notochord combined with other taxonomy characteristics, as mentioned above, determine that they be placed in Phylum Chordata. Conversely, Subphylum Vertebrata is distinguished by the presence of a vertebral column, which is derived from the notochord. Vertebrata (Vertebrates), is the most prominent subphylum in Phylum Chordata and animals in this group are sometimes referred to as True Chordates. As a result, all Vertebrates belong to Phylum Chordata but not all of Phylum Chordata are Vertebrates.

Please view the Zoology Taxonomy Characteristics Tables PDF document to review a table with differentiating characteristics of the eight Invertebrate Phyla and a second table with differentiating characteristics of Phylum Chordata. The PDF document will open in a new window.

The section below contains links to image galleries which highlight some of the many North Campus specimens and models found in the nine phyla. Select or click a Phylum name to view its gallery.