Difference between Terrestrial Animals and Aquatic Animals

One of the most common ways of dividing or classifying animals is one that takes into account the environment in which they live and spend most of their lives. In this way, animals can be divided into land animals and aquatic animals. There are animals that are right in the middle of this classification, these are known as ambivalent. Such is the case of the polar bear and the penguins, which despite being classified as terrestrial and aquatic animals, respectively, are adapted to spend significant amounts of time both in and out of the water.

Comparison chart

Land animals
Aquatic animals
What are they? A terrestrial animal is one that spends its entire life or a large part of it on land. Terrestrial animals do not make up an official biological group in themselves, they only share the fact of living on land. On the contrary, aquatic animals are those that need water in order to survive. Aquatic animals spend all or most of their lives in water (either fresh or salt water).
Breathing All land animals take the oxygen they need from the air. There are animals such as whales, turtles and dolphins that take oxygen from the air. This means that they need to come to the surface to breathe. Others, like fish, are able to take in the oxygen that is dissolved in the water thanks to their gills.
Are they vertebrates or invertebrates? There are vertebrate land animals such as giraffes and invertebrates such as earthworms. There are vertebrate aquatic animals such as alligators and invertebrates such as octopuses.
Are they viviparous or oviparous? In the same way, there are terrestrial viviparous such as horses and terrestrial viviparous such as chickens (hens). Likewise, there are aquatic viviparous such as beavers as well as aquatic viviparous such as some species of fish.
examples Most mammals such as cows, dogs, lions, bears, rhinoceroses, among many others and some amphibians such as most toads. Likewise, reptiles such as tortoises, some lizards and snakes. Birds like geese, pigeons and eagles. Arthropods (of which the majority are insects) are the most abundant land animals on Earth. Fish such as sharks and marine mammals such as whales, seals, dolphins and manatees. Some amphibians such as many species of frogs, toads, and salamanders. Likewise, reptiles such as turtles, crocodiles, alligators and iguanas. Birds such as penguins and ducks and even insects, whether in their larval or adult phase, such as the aquatic beetle and mosquitoes.

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