When we hear someone talking about animals, we immediately think of the animals we know best and that are evolutively nearer to us, like birds and mammals. Actually the larger part of the animal kingdom is made up of invertebrates, animals without a skeleton, that account for 95% of the living species. Jellyfish, corals, worms, arachnids, crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms and, among the most numerous species, insects, are all very different from one another and they populate all the environments on land and in the seas. These are mainly small sized animals, with the exception of the giant squid that is the largest living invertebrate, whose tentacles grow up to twenty meters long. Reptiles exist since millions of years, and their ancestors were amphibian, and lived both on land and in the water. Their size, and their structure varies greatly: tortoises, crocodiles, alligators, lizards and snakes are reptiles. From 230 to 65 million years ago, the Earth was dominated by dinosaurs that became extinct at the end of the period. 150 million years ago, birds evolved from the reptiles and they were characterized by their capacity to fly, that enabled them to spread rapidly to all the environments of the planet. Mammals can survive in almost all the environments and can adapt to various climates: to life in the jungle, in the desert, in the polar regions, in the air, in the oceans, underground, on trees, and they move from one environment to another.
In order to live in each environment, mammals have developed different bodies: most of the domestic animals, humans, bats, whales, elephants and beavers, kangaroos, koalas, the duck-billed platypus and bears are mammals!

subjects dealt with in Animals

vita_400x225_0033_regno animale

Animals knowledge

Most of animals, even the simplest ones, have a sexed reproduction, which allows to increase the genetic variability of individuals…

vita_400x225_0035_animali e uomo

Man and animals

As early as 20,000 years ago, some Primitive men portrayed on rocks, in caves and in the open air the…

vita_400x225_0031_tutela biodiversità

Protection of biodiversity

An animal species is seriously threatened with extinction when its population is broken up. Extinction is a natural process that…

vita_400x225_0036_allevamento e ambiente

Breeding and environment

Have you ever wondered how is produced meat you can find well-packaged and neatly filed on shelves at the supermarket?…

vita_400x225_0032_tu cosa puoi fare

What you can do

Current meat consumption have grown a lot in comparison to the past: FAO has estimated that they have been raising…

special reports

  • 8 July 2011 / Ecosystems

    Who's coming to dinner

    A shark in my hamburger Summer is finally here! As usual, we have waited for it all year long and…

    31 August 2013 / Life

    The Red List of Italian animals

    Biodiversity in Italy Italy has a rich biodiversity due to its distinctive geographic, climatic and historical characteristics. In particular, there…

    15 March 2008 / Life

    Biodiversity

    Defining biodiversity Much is said about biodiversity and of the need to protect it. But what is biodiversity? And why…

  • 27 September 2012 / Life

    Over 7 billion people on Earth

    World population hits 7 billion Demographers have estimated that on 31 October 2011 world population reached the 7 billion mark,…

    29 April 2013 / Ecosystems

    Intruders in the Mediterranean

    Mare Nostrum The Mediterranean Sea (Mare Nostrum, Latin for “Our Sea”) has always been considered of fundamental importance for the…

    16 April 2012 / Life

    Bats, The Lords of Darkness

    Year of the bat The UNEP Convention on Migratory Species and The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European…

  • 11 June 2012 / Life

    Bats, facts and fiction

    Legend or fact? In ancient Rome, bats were nailed to the door of the house as a protection from witches…

    2 July 2014 / Life

    A hoax? No thank you, I prefer to find out myself!

    Scientific hoaxes In Italian, bufala: a hoax, also means a female buffalo – and a type of mozzarella cheese is…

    1 August 2012 / Ecosystems

    Holidays, yes! but they must be sustainable!

    Sustainable holidays Lately we have been speaking of sustainable behaviours to apply to our daily life, but what happens when…

  • 8 July 2011 / Ecosystems

    Who's coming to dinner

    A shark in my hamburger Summer is finally here! As usual, we have waited for it all year long and…

    31 August 2013 / Life

    The Red List of Italian animals

    Biodiversity in Italy Italy has a rich biodiversity due to its distinctive geographic, climatic and historical characteristics. In particular, there…

  • 15 March 2008 / Life

    Biodiversity

    Defining biodiversity Much is said about biodiversity and of the need to protect it. But what is biodiversity? And why…

    27 September 2012 / Life

    Over 7 billion people on Earth

    World population hits 7 billion Demographers have estimated that on 31 October 2011 world population reached the 7 billion mark,…

  • 29 April 2013 / Ecosystems

    Intruders in the Mediterranean

    Mare Nostrum The Mediterranean Sea (Mare Nostrum, Latin for “Our Sea”) has always been considered of fundamental importance for the…

    16 April 2012 / Life

    Bats, The Lords of Darkness

    Year of the bat The UNEP Convention on Migratory Species and The Agreement on the Conservation of Populations of European…

  • 8 July 2011 / Ecosystems

    Who's coming to dinner

    A shark in my hamburger Summer is finally here! As usual, we have waited for it all year long and…

  • 31 August 2013 / Life

    The Red List of Italian animals

    Biodiversity in Italy Italy has a rich biodiversity due to its distinctive geographic, climatic and historical characteristics. In particular, there…

  • 15 March 2008 / Life

    Biodiversity

    Defining biodiversity Much is said about biodiversity and of the need to protect it. But what is biodiversity? And why…

from the Multimedia section

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    Nudibranchs (sea slugs)

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    water

    No more ice for the bears

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    air

    The polar bear will become extinct

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curiosities

  • Animal records

    Long jump Snow leopard : 13 metres Springbok: 10 metres Kangaroo: 9 metres Flea: 35 cm, in other words, 220…

    Another camouflage …

    In the gardens it is quite common to find the larvae of the Chrysomelidae family beetle, called lily beetle (Crioceris…

    Ant and fish activities

    A small insect like the antilion, digs funnel shaped traps in the sandy ground when it is in the larva…

  • Attack and defence strategies

    There is a wide range of defence and attack strategies: some animals live hidden in natural holes or other hideouts…

    Big and small animals

    To live at the high temperatures of this inhospitable environment, some animal species have developed special morphological (concerning shape) and…

    The African elephant

    The African elephant is the largest land animal living on our Planet. The male African elephant can reach a length…

  • The whale shark

    The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the biggest fish in the world, in fact it can reach a length of…

    How uncomfortable it is to grow

    The hermit crab, a crustacean, is very weird. This little animal settles inside empty shells, but as he grows during…

    Strong insects

    Many insects, despite their dimensions, are a lot stronger than human beings. The ant carries dead beetles and small pieces…

  • Animal records

    Long jump Snow leopard : 13 metres Springbok: 10 metres Kangaroo: 9 metres Flea: 35 cm, in other words, 220…

    Another camouflage …

    In the gardens it is quite common to find the larvae of the Chrysomelidae family beetle, called lily beetle (Crioceris…

  • Ant and fish activities

    A small insect like the antilion, digs funnel shaped traps in the sandy ground when it is in the larva…

    Attack and defence strategies

    There is a wide range of defence and attack strategies: some animals live hidden in natural holes or other hideouts…

  • Big and small animals

    To live at the high temperatures of this inhospitable environment, some animal species have developed special morphological (concerning shape) and…

    The African elephant

    The African elephant is the largest land animal living on our Planet. The male African elephant can reach a length…

  • Animal records

    Long jump Snow leopard : 13 metres Springbok: 10 metres Kangaroo: 9 metres Flea: 35 cm, in other words, 220…

  • Another camouflage …

    In the gardens it is quite common to find the larvae of the Chrysomelidae family beetle, called lily beetle (Crioceris…

  • Ant and fish activities

    A small insect like the antilion, digs funnel shaped traps in the sandy ground when it is in the larva…

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