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Today’s mammals also have fur and mammary glands, but we cannot be sure about the many fossil forms. The early ancestors of mammals diverged from reptilelike amniotes more than 200 million years ago. Mammalia Species 5,000 PAGE 68 VERTEBRATE GROUPS Although vertebrates are a very diverse group of animals, only about 50,000 species have been identified—a tiny fraction of all animal species. The first vertebrates were primitive fishes, and fishes make up more than half of all living vertebrate species.

PASSERIDS AUSTRALASIAN BABBLERS Pomatostomidae Species 5 AUSTRALIAN TREECREEPERS Climacteridae Species 7 LOGRUNNERS Orthonychidae Species 3 BOWERBIRDS Ptilonorhynchidae Species 18 Passerida A group of songbirds comprising an extremely varied mixture of species. Some subgroups are very distinct but the true relationships between the different groups are yet to be resolved. They include about one-third of the world’s bird species. ANIMAL KINGDOM 58 Birds the tracts are harder to define. Feathers provide insulation, enable flight, and need to be replaced regularly through the process of molting, usually once or twice a year.

6 OTHER FAMILIES Acrodonta Species 567 Species 570 BIRDS Archosaurs with asymmetrical flight feathers (lost in some flightless species). Many dinosaurs had feathers, but they were not flight feathers. More recently evolved birds—not including the primitive tinamous and ratites—have many more shared features, including a horny, toothless bill and a keeled breastbone. Aves Species 9,500 CROCODILIANS Crocodylia Elongated, limbed reptiles covered with thick leathery plates under which are bony plates on their top surface.

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