World Builders™
World Builders™
Session Nine   --  Links   
Session Nine   --  Links   

    Animals Come onto the Land
    Animals Come onto the Land

Early Animals   Invertebrates  


Reptiles   Dinosaurs   Flying Animals Mammals   Body

                                                Early Land Animals

Evolution A collection of papers about various topics related to or illustrating evolution. The sidebar features a number of other topics relating to land animals, including habitats and ecology. Check this one: it will help you!

Fossil Horses in Cyberspace The Florida Museum of Natural History has created a virtual cyber museum that will allow you to explore the evolution of the horse and related subjects. An attractive site with accessible information: good for all age groups!

Adaptive Radiation: definition with examples.

Mudskippers This short page with a picture will tell you something amazing about an animal adaptation!


Insects and Millipeds gives some information about the appearance of insects on land. There is a link to a list of pictures of fossil insects.

What Did the Insects Come From?  An excellent page on the evolution of insects with helpful illustrations.  Go on to the next page or two and learn about metamorphism and the stages of an insect's life. This is all good information,
and easy to understand; you could use these pages with your students.

Insects in the Big Picture  This page shows how insects are related to other animals

Adaptive Radiation - Why Most Animals are Insects   Excellent one page discussion of the success of insects on land.

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The Froggy Page: LOTS of frog links! Something for everyone! Good information, clip art, science tutorials, environmental studies, and links that are just for fun.

A Virtual Exhibit on Canada's Biodiversity: Focus on Amphibians  This beautiful exhibit gives clear and comprehensive information.  It has excellent illustrations and pictures where students click on particular spots to identify animals.  It covers the amphibian life cycle with flash animations and gives  glimpses into virtual habitats which have the same characteristics as the places where these animals live. page with information on many life forms and printout sheets for teachers and home schoolers.  A good resource.

Gerrothorax: a picture of this primitive land animal. (It was not a dinosaur)  In what ways is this animal still adapted to life in the wate?  What changes in body form would be helpful to its survival on land?

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Reptiles and Dinosaurs

Good information about the life and adaptive features of a lizard.

Velociraptor and Exothermy  This beautiful, easy to read, informative site gives an introduction to the Velocitoraptor, a swift and intelligent dinosaur.  Excellent, and would be very useful for classroom assignments.

Dinosaur Skeletons:  Go down the page a little way and you will see some drawings of dinosaur skeletons.  Take a minute to look at them and try to visualize what the entire animal looked like.   Which ones do you think look as if they were fast runners?  Why?  We can make a lot of good guesses from seeing the bones!

The Dinosauricon.  WOW!!!!  Mike Keesey has created a terrific site with lots of information, gorgeous pictures, and information on how dinosaurs are classified.  There are 1200 pictures by artists.  Don't miss this one!

All About Dinosaurs:  This series of pages tells about the evolution of dinosaurs.  It has many pictures and is suitable for readers from Elementary School and up.  It is very informative and easy to learn from.

Dinosaur and Paleontology Dictionary:  This is an excellent site if you are looking for information on a particular dinosaur, or for a dinosaur with particular characteristics.  Lots of illustrations and an alphaetical search tool make this a very useful resource.

Answers to Kids' Questions about Dinosaurs:  good questions, interesting answers!

This page from has a menu for listings of  turtles, crocodilians, lizards and snakes.  You can click on the type of animal that you want to learn about and go to a list of that particular group.  Pictures can be enlarged or sent as ecards.  Amphibians (frogs and salamanders) are also included in a section of the listings.  Teachers, use these very specific lists to provide search material for students learning the general characteristics of animal groups.

Anatomy of a Turtle: Jeff Dawson has written a very nice description of a turtle's anatomy. It is easy to follow and has good diagrams. The author has pages on the Skeletal System, the Muscular System, the Respiratory System, The Digestive System, the Reproductory and Excretory Systems, the Circulatory System, and the Nervous System. These pages provide a starting point for discussion of adaptations and for thinking about anatomy and how animals work.

The Turtle Pages: some description of turtle evolution and adaptation.

This page has a good labeled picture of snake anatomy.

Snake Anatomy with an emphasis on the major organs Informative and easy to read.

A Twist in the Tail of Snake evolution from Science Update tells a little about the evolution of snakes and their particular adaptations.

The snake skeleton:   Pages discuss the evolution of snakes and their skeletons, with pages on the skull, the vertebrae, the ribs, snake teeth, and the rattle. The pages are followed by a short quiz.

Jurassic Frogs tells a little about frog evolution and the unique adaptations that have made frogs so successful.

Who Needs A Tail Anyway?  This is a simple one page description of the stages in the life cycle of a frog.

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              Flying   Animals: Birds, Bats, Pterosaurs, and Insects

Vertebrate Flight Exhibit: from the University of California Museum of Paleontology in Berkeley. Check this out if you plan to have flying lifeforms on your planet! There is information on Pterosaurs, birds, and bats. Interesting and informative.

Introduction to the Pterosaurias, The Flying Reptiles:  This introductory page from the University of California Museum of Paleontology has excellent information about this flying reptile that coexisted with the dinosaurs.

University of California Museum of Paleontology: This is a special exhibit
about bat flight. There is an excellent picture of a bat skeleton.

University of California Museum of Paleontology: This introductory page has links more information on the lives of bats and what is known from the fossil record.

Very good information on bats and the adaptations that make their way of life possible. Don't be intimidated by the occasional unfamiliar word. Most of this is appropriate for the general reader.  Adult reading level suggested.

Insects:  An excellent ThinkQuest site on forests.  This part has information on insects, different animal adaptations, and different kinds of forests.  This is an excellent resource.

The Deep Sleep:  A Thinkquest site on Estivation, Hibernation, Torpor. and Daipause, special states that help animals to survive environmental changes.

The Evolution of Flight in Insects. Be sure to read this one: it talks about the evolution of insect flight and the relationship between flight and the insects' compound eye. Very interesting!

How Insects Fly: a short, clear, well-illustrated page. Check it out!

How Birds Came to Fly:  This paper clearly explains the scientific thinking about the development of flight in birds.  There are two theories: perhaps a fossil will be found that will support one of them!

Evolution:   This course about birds has several pages about their evolution.  The pages are sprinkled with interesting little details, and some of the words in the glossary also have pictures.

Aves:  An excellent cluster of web pages dealing with the evolution and life styles of birds.

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The Age of Mammals from Biodiversity and Conservation: A Hypertext Book by Peter J. Bryant, at the University of California, Irvine, is an easy to read and interesting description of mammal evolution.  He includes sections on the effect of contentinal drift and the forms that mammals evolved into on different continents.

The Evolution of Mammals is a very attractive and beautifully illustrated page that tells about how mammals developed from primitive beginnings into the very successful number of species that we enjoy today.  Be sure to read this page -- you will enjoy it!

All About Mammals, an Enchanted Learning section,  has interesting facts about mammals together with links to many animals and information about those animals.  Accessible and easy to understand.

The Evolution of Mammals is an interesting and informative page with many supporting links and lots of pictures.  A good one!

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                                                Body Systems

Vertebrate Lungs:  An excellent page describes the lungs of frogs, reptiles, mammals and birds.  It is very readable, easy to understand, and suitable for all ages

Animal Circulatory Systems:  An excellent page describing the hearts and circulatory systems of fishes, squid, frogs and lizards and birds and mammals.
Easy to read and understand descriptions are supported by very good illustrations.

The Biology of B-Movie Monsters:  a delightful discussion of scaling, or what happens when you change the size of an animal.  Informative and fun to read, this article would be great to share with your students in biology or mathematics.

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Copyright © 1999, 2002.   Elizabeth Anne Viau and her licensors.  All rights reserved. This material may be used by individuals for instructional purposes but not sold. Please inform the author if you use it at