A Kids Guide To Vertebrate Animals
Vertebrate animals are a fascinating topic to familiarize your children with Spanish vocabulary!
The animal kingdom and its curiosities are intriguing for young students. The more you expose your kids and students to a language, the easier it becomes for them to use it intuitively.
Boost your child’s confidence in the Spanish language, and elevate their skills with this activity-packed kid’s guide to vertebrate animals.
What Are Vertebrate Animals?
Our planet’s living beings are divided into reinos (kingdoms). El reino animal (animal kingdom) contains two large groups: los animales vertebrados (vertebrate animals) and los animales invertebrados (invertebrate animals).
Los animales vertebrados have a backbone. La columna vertebral is a column of bones that work as support for the body. It protects the médula espinal (spinal cord).
The esqueleto (skeleton) of vertebrate animals is made of bones and cartílago (cartilage). Vertebrate animals are also called cordados (chordata).
See also: Kid’s Guide to Invertebrate Animals
Download FREE Vertebrate Animals in Spanish Activities for Kids!Type your name and email below to get five activities for kids about vertebrate animals in Spanish!
Types of Vertebrate Animals
Los humanos (human beings) are vertebrates. Our spinal cord is of great importance to our body’s functions. Our skeleton protects our internal organs.
Vertebrate animals are categorized into five groups. Let’s dive deep into each one of them!
1. Mammals (Mamíferos)
Mamíferos are animals that have mamas (mammary glands). They feed and nourish their newborns with leche materna (breast milk). Baby mammals rely on their parents for protection and feeding.
Los mamíferos terrestres (ground mammals) have fur to keep them warm. Los mamíferos marinos (marine mammals) have smooth skin made of a layer of fat. All mammals have warm blood. Humans are mammals!
Some mammals are carnivoros (carnivorous) and others are vegetarian. Carnivorous mammals are on the top of the food chain. They’re some of the largest animals and depredadores (predators) in the world. Other mammals are small, such as los roedores (rodents).
|killer whale||la orca|
Example Sentences in Spanish
Los mamíferos tienen mamas para alimentar a sus crías.
Mammals have mammary glands for feeding their newborns.
Los mamíferos marinos tienen una capa de grasa y piel lisa.
Marine mammals have a layer of fat and smooth skin.
Los mamíferos tienen sangre caliente.
Mammals have warm blood.
Existen mamíferos de diferentes tamaños.
There are mammals of different sizes.
Los mamíferos más pequeños son roedores.
The smallest mammals are rodents.
Hay mamíferos carnívoros y vegetarianos.
There are carnivorous and vegetarian mammals.
2. Reptiles (Reptiles)
Los reptiles (reptiles) are vertebrate animals with escamas (scales) and dry skin. They have sangre fría (cold blood) to regulate their temperature according to their habitat.
Reptiles are descendants of los dinosaurios (dinosaurs). Their ancestry makes them the oldest animals on our planet! Some are herbivoros (plant eaters or herbivores), while the majority feed on other smaller animals.
Reptiles reproduce by laying eggs, which means they are ovíparos (oviparous). There are both land-dwelling and aquatic reptiles. Their habitats include grasslands, forests, wetlands, ocean waters, and deserts.
Some reptiles have a caparazón (shell), like turtles and tortoises. There are also reptiles that lack limbs, like snakes.
|green iguana||la iguana verde|
|Komodo dragon||el dragón de Komodo|
|rattlesnake||la serpiente cascabel|
Example Sentences in Spanish
Las tortugas son reptiles y tienen caparazón.
Turtles are reptiles and have a shell.
El caimán y el cocodrilo son reptiles.
Alligators and crocodiles are reptiles.
Los reptiles son descendientes de los dinosaurios.
Reptiles are descendants of dinosaurs.
Los reptiles son animales de sangre fría y viven en ambientes cálidos.
Reptiles are cold-blooded animals and live in warm environments.
Los reptiles son ovíparos, es decir, se reproducen por medio de huevos.
Reptiles are oviparous, meaning they reproduce by laying eggs.
Algunos reptiles son herbívoros, pero la mayoría son carnívoros.
Some reptiles are herbivores, but the majority are carnivores.
See also: Kid’s Guide to Dinosaurs in Spanish
3. Amphibians (Anfibios)
Los anfibios are vertebrate animals that spend a part of their lives in water habitats. They are similar to reptiles, as both are cold-blooded. Amphibians include sapos (toads), ranas (frogs), salamandras (salamanders), and tritones (newts).
There are approximately 7,500 species of amphibians in the world. Most amphibians go through metamorfosis (metamorphosis).
The first part of their life takes place in water, and the rest they live as mostly land-dwellers. Most amphibians live near natural bodies of fresh water. They are oviparous and reproduce
by laying fertilized eggs.
|California newt||el tritón de California|
|Mexican burrowing caecilian||la tepelcua|
|poison dart-frog||la rana dardo venenoso|
|red-eyed treefrog||la rana arborícola de ojos rojos|
Example Sentences in Spanish
Los anfibios comen de todo, son omnívoros.
Amphibians eat everything; they are omnivorous.
Habitan cerca de cuerpos de agua dulce.
They live near fresh bodies of water.
Son ovíparos y se reproducen por medio de huevos fertilizados.
They are oviparous and reproduce through fertilized eggs.
Existen aproximadamente 7,500 diferentes especies de anfibios.
There are approximately 7,500 different species of amphibians.
Los anfibios atraviesan un proceso de cambios físicos llamados metamorfosis.
Amphibians go through a series of physical changes called metamorphosis.
La primera parte del ciclo de vida de los anfibios es en el agua.
The first part of an amphibian’s life cycle takes place in water.
Explore the marvelous world of anfibios with this insightful Kid’s Guide to Amphibians with free PDFs and printables.
4. Birds (Aves)
Las aves are some of the most peculiar and colorful vertebrate animals that exist. There are close to 10,000 species of birds.
Birds don’t have teeth, they have picos (bills or beaks). Their bodies are covered in plumas (feathers). Birds have alas (wings) that allow them to fly. They use their muscles to flap their wings and take flight.
However, not all species of birds can fly. Some swim, flock, or run. Birds have warm blood and breathe through their lungs. They reproduce by laying eggs, which they nest until their babies become fully grown chicks.
Birds have a diverse diet of insectos (insects), frutas (fruits), hojas (leaves), carne (meat), and semillas (seeds). Many follow migration patterns to escape the cold season.
|bald eagle||el águila calva|
|peacock||el pavo real|
|peregrine falcon||el halcón peregrino|
|scarlet macaw||la guacamaya|
|woodpecker||el pájaro carpintero|
Example Sentences in Spanish
Las aves no tienen diente, tienen pico.
Birds don’t have teeth, they have a beak.
Las aves están cubiertas de plumas.
Birds are covered in feathers.
Algunas aves migran para escapar del frío.
Some birds migrate to escape the cold.
La guacamaya y el tucán son aves coloridas.
Macaws and toucans are colorful birds.
El pingüino real es un ave del Ártico.
The king penguin is a bird of the Arctic.
No todas las especies de aves vuelan, como por ejemplo la avestruz.
Not all bird species fly, like the ostrich for example.
Teach your kids All About the Peacock in Spanish with this joyful lesson!
5. Fish (Peces)
Los peces (fish) are unique vertebrate animals. They make up half of all vertebrate species. There are approximately 30,000 fish species.
Fish live all over the world in lakes, creeks, swamps, rivers, ponds, lagoons, and the ocean. They are 100% acuaticos (aquatic) and breathe through branquias (gills).
Their bodies are covered in escamas (scales), and they have aletas (fins) for moving around. They were the first vertebrate to inhabit the Earth.
Fish come in all colors and shapes. The largest fish known to man are los tiburones (sharks). Las mantarrayas (stingrays), los caballitos de mar (seahorses), and las anguilas (eels) are also fish.
Most fish feed on microscopic organisms called plankton. But some species feed on smaller species. Fish reproduce by laying fertilized eggs.
|angelfish||el pez ángel|
|clownfish||el pez payaso|
|great white shark||el tiburón blanco|
|pufferfish||el pez globo|
|swordfish||el pez espada|
Example Sentences in Spanish
La mitad de los animales vertebrados son peces.
Half of the vertebrate animals are fish.
Los peces tienen aletas para movilizarse.
Fish have fins for moving around.
Las mantarrayas y los tiburones también son peces.
Stingrays and sharks are also fish.
Los peces se reproducen por medio de huevos fertilizados.
Fish reproduce through fertilized eggs.
El pez más grande es el tiburón blanco.
The largest fish is the great white shark.
Algunos peces se alimentan de plancton y otros de animales más pequeños.
Some fish feed on plankton and others on smaller animals.
A diferencia de otros animales vertebrados, los peces respiran por medio de branquias.
Unlike other vertebrate animals, fish breathe through gills.
Hand-picked for you: A Kid’s Guide to the Ocean and Its Animals in Spanish
Vertebrate Animals in Spanish Activities
Vertebrate Animals in Spanish Word Search
Use our sopa de letras (word search) and have your students look for vocabulary words from this lesson. Word search reinforces Spanish reading skills and requires uninterrupted attention.
Flashcards and DIY Field Guides
Print out our flashcards of vertebrate animal species. The drawings and illustrations on the cards are perfect for the children to color and get creative.
Have the students use the field guide template to classify each animal on the cards according to their corresponding groups.
This activity is ideal for testing their memory of the content covered in this lesson. It’s ideal for visual learners to retain concepts and Spanish words. Use the example sentences to give them clues.
Visit Your Local Zoo or Aquarium
Take this lesson out on the road and plan a visit to your town’s zoo or aquarium.
The best way for your students to fully grasp the characteristics of vertebrate animals is by seeing them in action.
Create a space for discussion after the visit where you encourage sentence building and Spanish conversation among students.
Vertebrate Animals True or False Worksheet
Quiz your students on this lesson with a true or false worksheet. This activity may be challenging, but it’s also a great way to test their overall understanding of the concepts shown. It’s fantastic for supporting reading comprehension and conversation.
Have the students read their answers out loud and explain why they chose their answers.
Vertebrate Animals in Spanish Videos
Loads of educational videos support kids in Spanish listening, pronunciation, and fluency.
- Los animales vertebrados (Vertebrate Animals)
- Las aves (Birds)
- Los peces (Fish)
- Los mamiferos (Mammals)
- Los reptiles (Reptiles)
- Los anfibios (Amphibians)
- Animales vertebrados Vertebrate Animals)
- El baile de los animales, la canción de vertebrados e invertebrados (The Dance of Animals, Vertebrates and Invertebrates Song)
Keep Your Child On Track to Fluency
Animals are truly an engaging and rich topic for you to support your child’s Spanish skills. Discover other captivating topics for your Spanish classroom with the support of our wonderful team of certified teachers. They are equipped to provide 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 online Spanish classes for K-12 students, alleviating the stress of having students at different levels. Take a free trial class and see what our amazing team can do for your students to help them become confident Spanish speakers.
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