An animal that has a backbone is classified as a vertebrate. Humans qualify in this classification, along with animals commonly known to us, such as dogs, cats, birds, and fishes. The backbones protect our spinal cords, which is a vital part of any vertebrate’s body, being the one responsible for carrying signals from nerves towards our brains. This is a list of animals that are similar to us regarding having a backbone.
Let’s start with the most common vertebrate found almost everywhere on earth – dogs. Dogs are amazing animals, and it isn’t much of a puzzle why we call them a man’s best friend. These lovable and intelligent creatures come in different sizes, shapes, patterns, and temperaments.
A dog’s hearing is around 4 times sharper than an average person’s. The average dog can hear noises from up to a mile away. They also have sensitive tastes and smells, which are about a million times more reactive than a human‘s. The reason is that their olfactory center, the part of the brain that processes odors, is 40 times bigger than ours. This is why dogs are used in police operations to detect hidden things and follow tracks.
Next on our list is the second most common pet (no offense to cat lovers), cats. All cats are almost similar in size and only vary in terms of color and other features appearance. Cats have amazing vision, much clearer and more defined than humans or even dogs, making them excellent hunters. They can see 6 times better in dim light than humans.
A cat’s body is extremely flexible, giving them a range of options in terms of movement. They are carnivorous vertebrates with 30 adult teeth that grow between ages 5 and 7. If you have a pet cat, make sure to have them avoid products such as dairy, milk, chocolate, and raw eggs as these are known to be harmful to them,
Lions are known for being fierce predators, designated as the “King of the Jungle” by humans. Mature males grow to up to 10 feet (3 meters) weigh around 330-550 pounds, while females grow around 9 feet (2.7 meters), weighing somewhere between 265 and 395 pounds,
Their species is native to the landscapes of Africa, where the females are the active hunters and the males only hunt when necessary. They are carnivorous by nature, and contrary to what many people might think, their bites’ strength is not what sets them apart as hunters (jaguars have been known to have stronger bites), but their ability to communicate and hunt in groups.
Monkeys, in general, are, consist of around 200 species of tailed primate. Tails are what sets apart monkeys from apes. Monkeys can sit upright, stand erect, and leap from one tree to another using their limbs.
Monkeys are amazing problem solvers and are admirably intelligent. A study has shown that they are even more willing to explore productive solutions to a problem than humans. They are rigidly organized, and a group can consist of hundreds of individuals, mostly led by a leader in the form of an old male. Little monkeys spend years of their early life with their mother until they can handle their own.
While turtles spend some time above land, they spend most of their life in water. Sea turtles visit the land in time for laying eggs, while freshwater turtles visit logs or rocks to bask under the warm sunlight.
Did you know that a turtle’s shell is a modification of its ribcage? It turns out that its shell is a part of its vertebral column. It has been known that a turtle shell can withstand a weight up to 200 times it’s own. A sea turtle’s shell is weaker than a freshwater turtle’s, making them more vulnerable to shark bites.
Elephants are known to be the largest mammal on land. An African Bush elephant weighs up to 6000 kilograms or more, similar to the combined weight of 3 giraffes. Elephants can eat as much as 18 hours a day, consuming plenty of herbivorous matter, which demands extensive land areas they need to survive.
Their long trunks suck water for drinking and bathing, grabbing objects, and greeting other elephants. The tusks, meanwhile, are for protection and digging water underground in times of drought.
Crocodiles are reptiles with long snouts, sharp teeth, and tough scales. A mature crocodile can measure from 5 feet up to 20 feet depending on the species, age, and habitat location.
Crocodiles are mostly solitary animals. Even the species that prefer living in groups are not welcoming of outsiders. They hunt by hiding themselves submerged underwater, only revealing their eyes and nostrils, waiting to lounge on prey that wanders too close.
Sloths are tropical animals mostly found in the wilderness of Central and South America. They are inactive animals, capable of sleeping up to 20 hours daily. Did you know that algae grow on their fur because of this inactivity? Scientists believe sloths developed this habit of inactivity to be less noticeable to predators with excellent vision, such as hawks and cats.
While sloths may remind us more of monkeys, their closest relatives are armadillos and anteaters. Three-toed sloths, the other main species of sloth aside from two-toed ones, have two extra vertebrates that let them rotate their heads almost round. How cool is that?
It can be fascinating to know that snakes are vertebrates with their incredibly flexible anatomy. Snakes are known to be incredibly lethal predators, making most people frantic at the farthest sight of them. Not all snakes are venomous, with only around a quarter of all the snake species identified to possess lethal venom.
Snakes mostly depend on their senses of touch and smell. An organ located at the top of the mouth has receptors that identify the taste or smell of air particles captured and delivered by their forked tongue.
Whales are aquatic animals that are considered to be the largest animals on the planet. The longest blue whale on record is measured to be 33.58 meters long, while the heaviest one weighed 418,878 lbs, the weight of 2500 people.
Whales possess great intelligence, are good communicators, and are social and empathetic. These warm-blooded animals make for great mothers to their younglings and will rush to the surface of the water after birth to allow their newborns to take their first breath.
Zebras are common zoo animals that resemble a horse, which only makes sense as they are close relatives. Their stripes make them stand out appearance-wise to visitors, but this feature is much more important than people think. The stripes on their bodies are taught by scientists to help them camouflage and confuse the sight of huge predators while also helping to regulate their body heat. Just like fingerprints, did you know that no two zebras share the same pattern of stripes? Scientists believe these patterns enable them to recognize one another easily.
Eagles are large variations of the hawk (Accipitridae) family. The wingspan of the largest eagles reaches up to 7 feet in length. These fascinating birds inhabit almost every corner of the planet, save for harshly cold habitats, and like any bird, are carnivorous by nature. Eagles do not indulge in any plant-based diet. Their sheer mass allows them to hunt large prey compared to other birds, with some preying on seals, raccoons, swans, and even antelopes. The damage caused by humans to their habitat is extremely detrimental that organizations worldwide have started to take lengthy actions to help mitigate it. Some critically endangered and vulnerable species include the Philippine Eagle, Steppe Eagle, and Madagascar fish-Eagle.
Buffalos are cow-like mammals with gray-black coats and horns that point upwards. Wild water buffalos can grow up to 6 feet tall, with males having horns that stretch to lengths of 5 feet long.
Water buffalo spend much time immersed in murky waters, providing them food and cover. Their huge hooves keep them from submerging too deeply in the mud and allow them to navigate their wet and muddy habitats. Buffalos are herbivores who like to consume grass and herbs on grasslands.
Everyone knows that pandas are famous. But did you know that pandas are bears? These animals are native to China and are classified as carnivores despite indulging in mostly bamboo plants, covering almost the entirety of their diets.
Pandas are known to live in habitats with diverse bamboo species. It cannot survive without this kind of diversity, as it needs at least more than one species of bamboo to survive. Because of the low nutritional value of bamboo, pandas need to consume large amounts of it to keep their health.