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Animals are living creatures that feed, move, and breed.  During its life cycle, an animal is born, grows, matures, reproduces, ages, and dies.  It ingests (eats) food to develop its body and provide energy for movement.  Some types of animals, such as dodo birds and dinosaurs, have become extinct; many other animals are endangered species that may become extinct as well if they continue to be hunted recklessly and if their habitats are destroyed.

The animal kingdom is a huge and diverse group of living organisms; indeed, scientists believe that there are more than 25 million species!  Animals range from enormous blue whales to simple, tiny creatures that look like jelly blobs.  The extensive animal kingdom is divided into many groups and sub-groups.  For instance, a lion belongs to the Carnivora order because it eats meat.  It also belongs to the placental mammals class.  Every mammal belongs to the chordates group, which comprises animals with vertebrates (backbones).

colorful animals in the animal kingdom
Colorful Animal Kingdom Examples

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