Lighting / Portrait


A gray cat slinks past a wooden house. There’s something a little intimidating attempting to describe

The word “animal” comes from the Latin animalis, meaning having breath, having soul or living being.[1] In everyday non-scientific usage the word excludes humans – that is, “animal” is often used to refer only to non-human members of the kingdom Animalia; often, only closer relatives of humans such as mammals, or mammals and other vertebrates, are meant.[2] The biological definition of the word refers to all members of the kingdom Animalia, encompassing creatures as diverse as sponges, jellyfish, insects, and humans.[3]

Animals have several characteristics that set them apart from other living things. Animals are eukaryotic and multicellular,[7] which separates them from bacteria and most protists. They are heterotrophic,[8] generally digesting food in an internal chamber, which separates them from plants and algae.[9] They are also distinguished from plants, algae, and fungi by lacking rigid cell walls.[10] All animals are motile,[11] if only at certain life stages. In most animals, embryos pass through a blastula stage,[12] which is a characteristic exclusive to animals.

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