All Animal Life in 35 Photos

Every animal on Earth belongs to one of about 35 groups called “phyla”. Some are familiar, but others are profoundly strange

The number of species per phylum is always changing, as more animals are discovered. In 2014 alone, over 1,400 new marine species were discovered, and the largely unexplored deep sea surely holds many more surprises. Also, seemingly separate phyla sometimes turn out to be the same. As a result, this list of phyla is not definitive. But it is our best attempt to sum up the vast diversity of Earth’s animal life.

Mollusca (Credit: Ethan Daniels/SPL)
Mollusca (Credit: Ethan Daniels/SPL)

Mollusca – This nudibranch, or “sea slug”, is a mollusc. This diverse phylum also includes clams, snails, slugs, squid and octopuses. It is the largest marine phylum.

Article by Melissa Hogenboom

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