Animals are living creatures that inhabit the land,
air, water and underground. They come in sizes and shapes and colors of bewildering
diversity and variance. From one celled protozoa, to be seen only under microscope, to giants like the
30-meter long blue whale, the biggest animal that has ever lived.
If you add up all the variety it will end up with a whopping million plus. And not all of
them made their first appearance on the planet at the same time. Starting from the
simplest form of life they came up in an ascending order through a process called
evolution, leading finally to the creation of human being.
To elaborate, from the protozoan like the one-celled amoeba came up porifera like sponge,
coelenterates, annelids, mollusks, arthropods, echinoderms. Certain echinoderm
invertebrates gave rise to the ancestors of vertebrates, the backboned animals including
man. The first vertebrates were fishes. And from fishes came amphibians. From amphibians
evolved reptiles. From reptiles sprang birds and mammals. But along the countless animals
died out. These are lost species and called extinct. For, we cannot find them on earth any
longer. Some lost due to devastating natural hazards, some lost due to the failure to
protect themselves from the mightier predators, some lost simply because they could not
adapt themselves with the changing environment. Those who managed to survive did so
because of their superior quality struggle for survival.
While our marine and land animal sections showcase the amazing variety of animals broadly
classified according to their natural habitat, the section on prehistoric animals is a
tribute to all those strange creatures which had gone into oblivion long before human
beings appeared on this earth.