The subphylum Vertebrata – includes all the animals that are somewhat similar to each other. The sub-phylum is further divided into 7 classes that differ from each other in their skeletal structure, reproductive system, and adaptations to changing environmental conditions.
Despite going into the details of 7 classes, our main focus is on the 3 important classes of Vertebrates. These are Chondrichthyes – the class of sharks, Reptilia – the class of amphibians (salamander), and Aves – the class of birds. Though sharks, salamanders, and birds belong to different classes, is there any feature that is common in all of them? If yes, then what are those? Let’s take a deep analysis to find out the hidden characters which are common in all of them.
Which Characteristics are Shared by Salamanders, Birds, and Sharks?
Did you know the answer? No? Let’s make it simple. We’ll give you 4 options and you have to choose the correct one.
It’s like a multiple choice question type. OK?
The question is – Which characteristic is shared by salamanders, birds, and sharks?
And your options are:
B: Jaws and paired appendages
C: Four limbs
Yes! You got it.
The right answer is …. “B”
The common characteristics shared by salamanders, birds, and sharks are jaws and paired appendages!
Many people might think of option D – endothermy as the correct answer! But that’s wrong! Don’t be confused. We are going to explain the answer in detail for your understanding.
Why Choose Jaws and Appendages As the Correct Answer?
Option B – jaws and appendages are the common features found in birds, sharks, and salamanders.
Let’s go through the exclusion process.
Option A: Lungs – the land animals such as birds and salamanders possess lungs that help them in respiration whereas sharks do not have lungs in fact they have gills that help them in breathing! Thus option A is the wrong answer.
Option B: Jaws and appendages – birds, sharks, and salamanders, all have two pairs of appendages. In birds and salamanders, the paired appendages are limbs whereas in sharks the paired appendages are fins. Furthermore, all of them are blessed with jaws which help them in capturing and manipulating the prey.
Therefore, option B suits the question perfectly.
Option C: Forelimbs – birds, and salamanders have four limbs which help them in movement and locomotion whereas sharks do not have forelimbs instead they have fins that help them in swimming and traveling long distances throughout the extended oceans. So, the wrong answer.
Option D: Endothermy – Endothermy is the physiological ability of animals to maintain their constant body temperature. According to the description, birds and salamanders are endotherms whereas sharks are ectotherms because they can regulate their body temperature with respect to their environment. Unfortunately, this option is also wrong. Ooopppsss!
Now, it’s clear to you that option B is the best one!
Sharks, birds, and salamanders belong to three different classes categorized under subphylum – the Vertebrata. Although they are very distinct from each other, the one feature which is similar in all of them is having jaws and paired appendages. The paired appendages in birds and salamanders are limbs whereas, in sharks, the paired appendages are fins. We hope that by reading the article you have found the answer and the reason as well to what characteristic is shared by birds, sharks, and salamanders.