Vertebrates are members of the subphylum Vertebrata, chordates with backbones or spinal columns. Vertebrates comprise cyclostomes, bony fish, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds. Extant vertebrates range in size from the carp species Paedocypris, at as little as 7.9 mm (0.3 inch), to the Blue Whale, at up to 33 m (110 ft).
An invertebrate is an animal lacking a vertebral column. The group includes 97% of all animal species — all animals except those in the Chordate subphylum Vertebrata (fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals). Carolus Linnaeus' Systema Naturae divided these animals into only two groups, the Insecta and the now-obsolete vermes (worms).
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