Animals belong to the kingdom of Animalia or Metazoa and are muliticellular organisms capable of spontaneous and independent movement. They are subdivided into groups such as carnivores, herbivores, omnivores, and parasites. They possess a reliance on other organisms in order to obtain nourishment and sustain themselves.
Animals possess a great amount if diversity. There are several characteristics that distinguish them apart from other living things. They don't by any means fall under the same category as bacteria and most protists as they are eukaryotic and are mostly multicellular. Food ingestion is via an internal chamber and this alone distinguishes them apart from plants and any algae type. In the case of plants, fungus and algae, they are set apart as they lack rigid cell walls. Another unshared characteristic in animals is the fact that embryos pass through a blastula stage.
Characteristically, many animals are known to move from one place to another in order to find food, potential mates and a great escape from other threats. If they can't move or they move slowly, they will have adaptations that let them take care of these needs.
The bodies of animals include muscles which are most capable of movement and nerve tissue, which sends and processes signals. An internal digestive chamber also exists which possesses one or two openings. Metazoans is the name given to this particular composition of such animals.
All animals possess eukaryotic cells. These cells are surrounded by a defining extracellular matrix composed of collagen and elastic glycoproteins. Structures such as shells, bones and spicules are formed as a result of a calcific process. During development a relatively flexible framework is formed upon which cells can move and be reorganized. This developmental process makes complex structures possible.
On the contrary, other multicellular organisms like plants and fungi have cells held in place by cell walls, and so develop by progressive growth. Tight junctions, gap junctions and desmosomes are intercelluar junctions that are unique to animal cells.
Sexual reproduction in animals is commonplace with many being very capable of asexual reproduction. New beings are given birth to by way of specialized reproductive cells that undergo a process called meiosis that aids in the formation of smaller motile spermatozoa.
In the case of asexual reproduction, fertile eggs are produced by the female species within the animal kingdom without her getting involved in the mating process.
Animals of Barbados
Barbados has a great variety of animals that call the island home. Some indigenous, some endemic and others imported. As per the cultural blend of people in Barbados, so too exists a wonderful mixture with animals as well.
The Barbados Wildlife Reserve which is located in the parish of St. Peter is home to a number of animals on the island and a place where one gets a chance to see how many of these animals operate in their very own natural environment. Some animals are caged while others are free to roam this 4 acre wildlife facility.