About animals About animals Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant
Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant in Costa Rica. Animals are a group of organisms that belong to the Animalia Kingdom. Animals first appeared during the Cambrian explosion some 542 million years ago.

The word "animal" is derived from the Latin word animalis, meaning "having breath".

Animals are heterotrophs, meaning they must consume other organisms as food. Most animals are also capable of moving spontaneously and independently. Animals are eukaryotic — meaning their cells have a nucleus in which genetic material is carried. Most animals are multicellular.

The best-known animals are vertebrates in the Chordata phylum (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals), but the vast majority of organisms in the Animal Kingdom are arthropods, which include insects, arachnids, crustaceans, and some other creatures. Vertebrates are the third largest group after arthropods and mollusks (like snails, squid, and clams).

Here are some pictures of animals. After the photos are recent news articles about animals.

Common woolly monkey (Lagothrix lagotricha)

Water buffalo


Poisonous caterpillar displaying its neon green but venomous spines

Ex-captive Adult Male Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)


Infant elephant


Mother tarsier and baby

Atlantic Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)

Flounder camouflaged in the sand
Flounder camouflaged in the sand


Male Panther chameleon

Giant yellow planarian in the rain forest of Indonesia

Red-tailed squirrel (Sciurus granatensis) feeding on a flower in Costa Rica

(Costa Rica)

Hot pink and turquoise insect


Jaguar (Panthera onca)

Brown snake with dark brown markings

(Costa Rica)

Green iguana (Iguana iguana), up close and personal

Environmental news about animals