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Terrestrial animals are
animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ...

animal
s that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g.,
cat The cat (''Felis catus'') is a domestic Domestic may refer to: In the home * Anything relating to the human home A home, or domicile, is a space used as a permanent or semi-permanent residence for an individual, group or famil ...

cat
s,
dog The dog or domestic dog (''Canis familiaris'' or ''Canis lupus familiaris'') is a domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the ...

dog
s,
ant Ants are eusocial Eusociality (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population i ...

ant
s,
spider Spiders (order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or waste, and the ...

spider
s), as compared with
aquatic animal An aquatic animal is an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. Al ...
s, which live predominantly or entirely in the water (e.g.,
fish Fish are aquatic Aquatic means relating to water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the ...

fish
,
lobster Lobsters are a family In , family (from la, familia) is a of people related either by (by recognized birth) or (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the well-being of its members and of society ...

lobster
s,
octopus An octopus (pl. octopuses/octopi, see below for variants) is a soft-bodied, eight- limbed mollusc Mollusca is the second-largest phylum of invertebrate animals after the Arthropoda. The members are known as molluscs or mollusks (). A ...

octopus
es), or
amphibian Amphibians are ectothermic, tetrapod vertebrates of the Class (biology), class Amphibia. All living amphibians belong to the group Lissamphibia. They inhabit a wide variety of habitats, with most species living within terrestrial animal, ter ...
s, which rely on a combination of aquatic and terrestrial
habitat In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers at the ...

habitat
s (e.g.,
frog A frog is any member of a diverse and largely carnivorous A carnivore , meaning "meat Meat is animal flesh that is eaten as food. Humans have hunted and killed animals for meat since prehistoric times. The advent of civilization all ...

frog
s, or
newt A newt is a salamander Salamanders are a group of amphibian Amphibians are ectothermic, tetrapod vertebrates of the Class (biology), class Amphibia. All living amphibians belong to the group Lissamphibia. They inhabit a wide variet ...

newt
s). Some groups of
insects Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...

insects
are
terrestrial Terrestrial refers to things related to land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists main ...
, such as
ant Ants are eusocial Eusociality (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population i ...

ant
s,
butterflies Butterflies are insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', m ...

butterflies
,
earwigs Earwigs make up the insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', ...
,
cockroaches Cockroaches (or roaches) are insects of the order Blattodea, which also includes termites. About 30 cockroach species out of 4,600 are associated with human habitats. Some species are well-known as Pest (organism), pests. The cockroaches are ...
,
grasshopper Grasshoppers are a group of insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''comm ...

grasshopper
s and many others, while other groups are partially aquatic, such as
mosquitos Mosquitoes are members of a group of almost 3,600 species of small Diptera, flies within the family Culicidae (from the Latin ''culex'' meaning "gnat"). The word "mosquito" (formed by ''mosca'' and diminutive ''-ito'') is Spanish and Portuguese ...
or
dragonflies A dragonfly is a flying insect The Pterygota (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referr ...

dragonflies
who pass their larval stages in water.


Terrestrial classes

The term terrestrial is typically applied for species that live primarily on the ground, in contrast to
arboreal Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion Locomotion means the act or ability of an entity or person to transport or move oneself from place to place. Locomotion or Loco-Motion may refer to: Motion * Motion (physics) *Specific types of motion ** A ...
species, which live primarily in trees. There are other less common terms that apply to specific groups of terrestrial animals: *
Saxicolous A saxicolous lichen is a lichen A lichen ( or, sometimes in the UK, , ) is a composite organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodi ...
creatures are rock dwelling. Saxicolous is derived from the Latin word "saxum," meaning a rock. * Arenicolous creatures live in the sand. *
Troglofauna Troglofauna are small cave-dwelling animals that have adaptation, adapted to their dark surroundings. Troglofauna and stygofauna are the two types of subterranean fauna (based on life-history). Both are associated with subterranean environments ...
predominantly live in caves.


Taxonomy

Terrestrial invasion is one of the most important events in the
history of life The history of life on Earth traces the processes by which living and fossil organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system that embodies the Lif ...
. Terrestrial lineages evolved in several animal phyla, among which arthropods, vertebrates and mollusks are representatives of more successful groups of terrestrial animals. Terrestrial animals do not form a unified
clade A clade (), also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyly, monophyletic – that is, composed of a common ancestor and all its lineage (evolution), lineal descendants - on a phylogenetic tree. R ...

clade
; rather, they share only the fact that they live on land. The transition from an aquatic to terrestrial life has evolved independently and successfully many times by various groups of animals. Most terrestrial lineages originated under a mild or
tropical climate Tropical climate is one of the five major climate groups in the Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the worl ...
during the
Paleozoic The Paleozoic (or Palaeozoic) Era ( ; from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Eu ...
and
Mesozoic The Mesozoic Era ( ), also called the Age of Reptiles and the Age of Conifers, is the second-to-last era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy ...
, whereas few animals became fully terrestrial during the
Cenozoic The Cenozoic ( ; ) is Earth's current geological era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy, a calendar era used for a given calendar, or the ge ...

Cenozoic
. When excluding internal
parasite Parasitism is a Symbiosis, close relationship between species, where one organism, the parasite, lives on or inside another organism, the Host (biology), host, causing it some harm, and is adaptation (biology), adapted structurally to this w ...
s, free living species in terrestrial environments are represented by the following eleven phyla: *
Gastrotrich The gastrotrichs (phylum Gastrotricha), common name, commonly referred to as hairybellies or hairybacks, are a group of microscopic (0.06-3.0 mm), worm-like, pseudocoelomate animals, and are widely distributed and abundant in freshwater and ...

Gastrotrich
s (hairy-backs) live in transient terrestrial water and go dormant during desiccation *
Rotifer The rotifers (, from Latin ''wikt:rota#Latin, rota'' "wheel" and ''wikt:-fer#Latin, -fer'' "bearing"), commonly called wheel animals or wheel animalcules, make up a phylum (Rotifera ) of microscopic and near-microscopic Coelom#Pseudocoelomates, ...

Rotifer
s (wheel animals) live in transient terrestrial water and go dormant during desiccation *
Nematodes The nematodes ( or grc-gre, Νηματώδη; la, Nematoda) or roundworms constitute the phylum In biology, a phylum (; plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the val ...

Nematodes
(roundworms) by going dormant during desiccation *
Tardigrade Tardigrades (), known colloquially as water bears or moss piglets, are a phylum In biology, a phylum (; plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the values of the grammatica ...

Tardigrade
s (water bears) live in transient terrestrial water and go dormant during desiccation *
Flatworm The flatworms, flat worms, Platyhelminthes, or platyhelminths (from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a count ...

Flatworm
s (
land planarian Geoplanidae is a family of flatworms known commonly as land planarians or land flatworms. These flatworms are mainly predators of other invertebrates, which they hunt, attack and capture using physical force and the adhesive and digestive proper ...
s) require moist habitats and have restricted range * (ribbon worms in
Monostilifera Monostilifera is a suborder In biological classification, the order ( la, wikt:ordo#Latin, ordo) is # a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms and recognized by the nomenclature codes. The well-known ranks in descending order ...
) require moist habitats and have restricted range *
Onychophora Onychophora (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). A ...

Onychophora
(velvet worms) require moist habitats and have restricted range, the only solely terrestrial phylum *
Annelid The annelids (Annelida , from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share ...
s ( Clitellates) require moist habitats, highly diverse and derived from their *
Arthropod An arthropod (, (gen. ποδός)) is an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton, a Segmentation (biology), segmented body, and paired jointed appendages. Arthropods form the phylum Euarthropoda,Reference showing that Euarthropoda is a phylum: ...
s (fully terrestrial members: Hexapods,
Arachnids Arachnida () is a class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an analytica ...
,
Myriapods Myriapoda () is a subphylum In zoological nomenclature The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a widely accepted Convention (norm), convention in zoology that rules the formal scientific name, scientific naming of organism ...
,
Woodlice A woodlouse (plural woodlice) is a crustacean Crustaceans (Crustacea ) form a large, diverse arthropod taxon which includes such animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, Caridea, shrimp, krill, Dendrobranchiata, prawns, woodlice, barnacles, cop ...
, Sandhoppers, and Terrestrial crabs, semi-terrestrial members include
Water Fleas The Diplostraca or Cladocera, commonly known as water fleas, are a superorder (biology), superorder of small crustaceans that feed on microscopic chunks of organic matter (excluding some predatory forms). Over 1000 species have been recognised s ...
,
Copepods Copepods (; meaning "oar-feet") are a group of small crustaceans found in nearly every freshwater and saltwater habitat (ecology), habitat. Some species are planktonic (inhabiting sea waters), some are benthos, benthic (living on the ocean floor) ...

Copepods
, and
Seed Shrimp Ostracods, or ostracodes, are a Class (biology), class of the crustacean, Crustacea (class Ostracoda), sometimes known as seed shrimp. Some 70,000 species (only 13,000 of which are extant taxon, extant) have been identified, grouped into several ...

Seed Shrimp
) *
Mollusks Mollusca is the second-largest phylum of invertebrate animals after the Arthropoda. The members are known as molluscs or mollusks (). Around 85,000 extant taxon, extant species of molluscs are recognized. The number of fossil species is e ...
(
Gastropods The gastropods (), commonly known as snails and slugs, belong to a large taxonomic Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may ...
:
land snail A land snail is any of the numerous species of snail that live on land, as opposed to the sea snails and freshwater snails. ''Land snail'' is the common name for terrestrial molluscs, terrestrial gastropod mollusks that have gastropod shell, shel ...

land snail
s and
slug Slug, or land slug, is a common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. ...

slug
s) *
Chordate A chordate () is an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All ...
s (
Tetrapods Tetrapods (; ) are four-limbed animals constituting the superclass Tetrapoda (). It includes extant Extant is the opposite of the word extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism or of a group of kinds (taxon), usually a sp ...

Tetrapods
, semiterrestrial members:
Amphibious fish Amphibious fish are fish Fish are aquatic Aquatic means relating to water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of ...
) Roundworms, gastrotrichs, tardigrades, rotifers and some smaller species of arthropods and annelids are microscopic animals that require a film of water to live in, and are therefore considered semi-terrestrial.The Terrestrial Plankton , NZETC
/ref> Flatworms, ribbon worms, velvet worms and annelids all depend on more or less moist habitats. The three remaining phyla, arthropods, mollusks, and chordates, all contain species that have
adapted In biology, adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process that fits organisms to their environment, enhancing their Fitness (biology), evolutionary fitness. Secondly, it is a state reached by the popul ...
totally to dry terrestrial environments, and which have no aquatic phase in their life cycles.


Difficulties

Labeling an animal species "terrestrial" or "aquatic" is often obscure and becomes a matter of judgment. Many animals considered terrestrial have a life-cycle that is partly dependent on being in water.
Penguins Penguins (order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or waste, and t ...

Penguins
,
seals Seals may refer to: * Pinniped Pinnipeds (pronounced ), commonly known as seals, are a widely and diverse of , -footed, , mostly s. They comprise the (whose only living member is the ), (the eared seals: s and s), and (the earless sea ...
, and
walruses The walrus (''Odobenus rosmarus'') is a large pinniped, flippered marine mammal with a discontinuous distribution about the North Pole in the Arctic Ocean and subarctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. The walrus is the only living species in ...
sleep on land and feed in the ocean, yet they are all considered terrestrial. Many insects, e.g.
mosquito Mosquitoes are members of a group of almost 3,600 species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defin ...

mosquito
s, and all
terrestrial crab A number of lineages of crab Crabs are decapod crustacean Crustaceans (Crustacea ) form a large, diverse arthropod taxon which includes such animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, Caridea, shrimp, krill, Dendrobranchiata, prawns, woodl ...
s, as well as other clades, have an aquatic life cycle stage: their eggs need to be laid in and to hatch in water; after hatching, there is an early aquatic form, either a
nymph A nymph ( grc, νύμφη, nýmphē, el, script=Latn, nímfi, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Gree ...

nymph
or
larva A larva (plural larvae ) is a distinct juvenile form many animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that f ...
. There are crab species that are completely aquatic, crab species that are amphibious, and crab species that are terrestrial.
Fiddler crabs A fiddler crab, sometimes known as a ''calling crab'', may be any of more than one hundred species of semiterrestrial marine crabs in the family Ocypodidae. A smaller number of ghost crab and mangrove crab species are also found in the family Oc ...

Fiddler crabs
are called "semi-terrestrial" since they make burrows in the muddy substrate, to which they retreat during high tides. When the tide is out, fiddler crabs search the beach for food. The same is true in the
mollusca Mollusca is the second-largest phylum In biology, a phylum (; plural The plural (sometimes list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ), in many languages, is one of the values of the grammatical number, grammatical category of number ...

mollusca
. Many hundreds of
gastropod The gastropods (), commonly known as snails and slugs, belong to a large taxonomic Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may ...
genera and species live in intermediate situations, such as for example, ''Truncatella''. Some gastropods with gills live on land, and others with a lung live in the water. As well as the purely terrestrial and the purely aquatic animals, there are many borderline species. There are no universally accepted criteria for deciding how to label these species, thus some assignments are disputed.


Terrestrialization

Fossil evidence has shown that sea creatures, likely related to arthropods, first began to make forays on to land around 530 million years ago. There is little reason to believe, however, that animals first began living reliably on land around this same time period. A more likely hypothesis is that these early arthropods' motivation for venturing on to dry land was to mate (as modern horseshoe crabs do) or lay eggs out of the reach of predators. As time went on, evidence suggests that by approximately 375 million years ago the bony fish best adapted to life in shallow coastal/swampy waters (such as ''Tiktaalik roseae''), were much more viable as amphibians than were their arthropod predecessors. Thanks to relatively strong, muscular limbs (which were likely weight-bearing, thus making them a preferable alternative to traditional fins in extremely shallow water),Hohn-Schulte, Bianca, Holger Preuschoft, Ulrich Witzel, and Claudia Distler-Hoffman. "Biomechanics and Functional Preconditions for Terrestrial Lifestyle in Basal Tetrapods, with Special Consideration of ''Tiktaalik Roseae''." Historical Biology 25.2 (2013): 167-81. Web. and lungs which existed in conjunction with gills, ''Tiktaalik'' and animals like it were able to establish a strong foothold on land by the end of the Devonian period. As such, they are likely the most recent common ancestor of all modern tetrapods.


Terrestrial gastropods

Gastropod The gastropods (), commonly known as snails and slugs, belong to a large taxonomic Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may ...
mollusks are one of the most successful animals that have diversified in the fully terrestrial habitat. They have evolved terrestrial taxa in more than nine lineages. They are commonly referred to as
land snail A land snail is any of the numerous species of snail that live on land, as opposed to the sea snails and freshwater snails. ''Land snail'' is the common name for terrestrial molluscs, terrestrial gastropod mollusks that have gastropod shell, shel ...

land snail
s and
slug Slug, or land slug, is a common name Common may refer to: Places * Common, a townland in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland * Boston Common Boston Common (also known as the Common) is a central public park in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. ...

slug
s. Terrestrial invasion of gastropod mollusks has occurred in ,
Cyclophoroidea Cyclophoroidea is a superfamily of land snail A land snail is any of the numerous species of snail that live on land, as opposed to the sea snails and freshwater snails. ''Land snail'' is the common name for terrestrial molluscs, terrestrial ...
,
Littorinoidea Littorinoidea are a Taxonomic rank, superfamily of both sea snails and land snails which have a gill and an operculum (gastropod), operculum, Terrestrial animal, terrestrial and marine (ocean), marine gastropod Mollusc, mollusks in the clade Litt ...
,
Rissooidea Rissooidea, originally named Rissoacea by Gray, 1847, is a Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic Taxonomic rank, superfamily of small and minute marine (ocean), marine snails, belonging to the clade Littorinimorpha.Gofas, S. (2013). Rissooidea. Accessed ...
, Ellobioidea, Onchidioidea,
Veronicelloidea Veronicelloidea is a family (biology), superfamily of air-breathing land slugs. They are Terrestrial molluscs, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod molluscs in the clade Systellommatophora. Taxonomy The following two families were recognized in Taxon ...
,
Succineoidea Succineoidea is a Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic Taxonomic rank, superfamily of air-breathing land snails, terrestrial molluscs, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusks in the suborder Helicina (suborder), Helicina. MolluscaBase eds. (2021). Mol ...
, and
Stylommatophora Stylommatophora is an Order (biology), orderPhilippe Bouchet, Jean-Pierre Rocroi, Bernhard Hausdorf, Andrzej Kaim, Yasunori Kano, Alexander Nützel, Pavel Parkhaev, Michael Schrödl and Ellen E. Strong. 2017. Revised Classification, Nomenclator ...

Stylommatophora
, and in particular, each of Neritopsina, Rissooidea and Ellobioidea has likely achieved land invasion more than once. Most terrestrialization events have occurred during the
Paleozoic The Paleozoic (or Palaeozoic) Era ( ; from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Eu ...
or
Mesozoic The Mesozoic Era ( ), also called the Age of Reptiles and the Age of Conifers, is the second-to-last era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy ...
. Gastropods are especially unique due to several fully terrestrial and epifaunal lineages that evolved during the
Cenozoic The Cenozoic ( ; ) is Earth's current geological era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology or historiography, as in the regnal eras in the history of a given monarchy, a calendar era used for a given calendar, or the ge ...

Cenozoic
. Some members of rissooidean families
Truncatellidae Truncatellidae, common name the "looping snails", is a Family (biology), family of small amphibious snails, with gills and an operculum (gastropod), operculum, semi-marine gastropod mollusks or micromollusks. Shell description This family of s ...
,
Assimineidae Assimineidae is a family In human society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or social territory, typically ...
, and
Pomatiopsidae Pomatiopsidae is a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the ...
are considered to have colonized to land during the Cenozoic. Most truncatellid and assimineid snails amphibiously live in
intertidal The intertidal zone, also known as the foreshore or seashore, is the area above water level Water level, also known as gauge height or stage, is the elevation of the free surface of a sea, stream, lake or reservoir relative to a specified ve ...
and supratidal zones from
brackish water Brackish water, also sometimes termed brack water, is water occurring in a natural environment having more salinity Salinity () is the saltiness or amount of dissolved in a body of , called (see also ). It is usually measured in g/L or g/kg ...
to pelagic areas. Terrestrial lineages likely evolved from such ancestors. The
rissooidea Rissooidea, originally named Rissoacea by Gray, 1847, is a Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic Taxonomic rank, superfamily of small and minute marine (ocean), marine snails, belonging to the clade Littorinimorpha.Gofas, S. (2013). Rissooidea. Accessed ...
n gastropod family
Pomatiopsidae Pomatiopsidae is a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the ...
is one of the few groups that have evolved fully terrestrial taxa during the late Cenozoic in the
Japanese Archipelago The Japanese archipelago (Japanese: 日本列島, ''Nihon rettō'') is a group of 6,852 islands that form the country of Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a ...
only. Shifts from aquatic to terrestrial life occurred at least twice within two Japanese endemic lineages in Japanese Pomatiopsidae and it started in the
Late Miocene The Late Miocene (also known as Upper Miocene) is a sub-epoch of the Miocene epoch (geology), Epoch made up of two faunal stage, stages. The Tortonian and Messinian stages comprise the Late Miocene sub-epoch, which lasted from 11.63 Ma (million ye ...
. About one-third of gastropod species are terrestrial. In terrestrial habitats they are subjected to daily and seasonal variation in temperature and water availability. Their success in colonizing different habitats is due to physiological, behavioral, and morphological adaptations to water availability, as well as ionic and thermal balance. They are adapted to most of the habitats on Earth. The shell of a snail is constructed of
calcium carbonate Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element held togethe ...

calcium carbonate
, but even in acidic soils one can find various species of shell-less slugs. Land-snails, such as
Xerocrassa seetzeni ''Xerocrassa seetzeni'' is a species of air-breathing land snail, a terrestrial animal, terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Hygromiidae, the hairy snails and their allies. Distribution ''Xerocrassa seetzeni'' is native to the ...
and
Sphincterochila boissieri ''Sphincterochila boissieri'' is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the larges ...
, also live in deserts, where they must contend with heat and aridity. Terrestrial gastropods are primarily herbivores and only a few groups are carnivorous. Carnivorous gastropods usually feed on other gastropod species or on weak individuals of the same species; some feed on insect larvae or earthworms.


Terrestrial arthropods

Terrestrial arthropods come from many distinct lineages: both sister Panarthropod phyla Velvet Worms and Water Bears have some degree of terrestrialization, with Velvet Worms being solely terrestrial. Among Euarthropods
Myriapods Myriapoda () is a subphylum In zoological nomenclature The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a widely accepted Convention (norm), convention in zoology that rules the formal scientific name, scientific naming of organism ...

Myriapods
,
Arachnids Arachnida () is a class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an analytica ...

Arachnids
, and Hexapods (
insects Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...

insects
,
springtails Springtails (Collembola) form the largest of the three lineages of modern Hexapoda, hexapods that are no longer considered insects (the other two are the Protura and Diplura). Although the three orders are sometimes grouped together in a class cal ...

springtails
etc.) independently adapted to terrestrial life and diversified in very ancient times. More recently three groups of Crustaceans have also independently adapted to terrestrial life:
Woodlice A woodlouse (plural woodlice) is a crustacean Crustaceans (Crustacea ) form a large, diverse arthropod taxon which includes such animals as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, Caridea, shrimp, krill, Dendrobranchiata, prawns, woodlice, barnacles, cop ...
Sandhoppers and Terrestrial Crabs, according to the
Pancrustacea Pancrustacea is the clade A clade (), also known as a monophyletic group or natural group, is a group of organisms that are monophyly, monophyletic – that is, composed of a common ancestor and all its lineage (evolution), lineal descendant ...
hypothesis insects are crustaceans, but of a very distant group from either of those groups Additionally many microscopic crustacean groups like
copepods Copepods (; meaning "oar-feet") are a group of small crustaceans found in nearly every freshwater and saltwater habitat (ecology), habitat. Some species are planktonic (inhabiting sea waters), some are benthos, benthic (living on the ocean floor) ...

copepods
and
amphipods Amphipoda is an order Order, ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is a quality that is characterized by a person’s interest in keeping their surroundings and themselves well organized, and is associated with other qualit ...

amphipods
(of which Sandhoppers are members) and
Seed Shrimp Ostracods, or ostracodes, are a Class (biology), class of the crustacean, Crustacea (class Ostracoda), sometimes known as seed shrimp. Some 70,000 species (only 13,000 of which are extant taxon, extant) have been identified, grouped into several ...

Seed Shrimp
are known to go dormant when dry and live in transient bodies of water


Semi-terrestrial animals

Semi-terrestrial animals are macroscopic animals that rely on very moist environments to thrive, they may be considered a transitional point between true terrestrial animals and aquatic animals. Among vertebrates Amphibians have this characteristic relying on a moist environment and breathing through their moist skin. Many other animal groups solely have terrestrial animals that live like this:
Land Planarians Geoplanidae is a family of flatworms known commonly as land planarians or land flatworms. These flatworms are mainly predators of other invertebrates, which they hunt, attack and capture using physical force and the adhesive and digestive proper ...
, Monostilifera, Land Ribbon Worms, Nematode, Nematodes, and Clitellata, Land Annelids breathe like this. Land Annelids are primarily of the group Clitellata and demonstrate many unique terrestrial adaptations especially in their methods of reproduction, they tend towards being simpler than their marine relatives, lacking many of the complex appendages polychaetes have. Velvet worms are prone to desiccation not due to breathing through their skin but due to their spiracles being inefficient at protecting from desiccation, like Clitellates they demonstrate extensive terrestrial adaptations and differences from their marine relatives including live birth. During the Carboniferous the marine relatives of Velvet Worms went extinct, making them the only solely terrestrial phylum.


Geoplankton

Many animals live in terrestrial environments by thriving in transient often microscopic bodies of water and moisture, these include Rotifer, Rotifers and Gastrotrich, Gastrotrichs which lay resilient eggs capable of surviving years in dry environments, and some of which can go dormant themselves. Nematodes are usually microscopic with this lifestyle. Water Bears although only having lifespans of a few months, famously can enter suspended animation during dry or hostile conditions and survive for decades, this allows them to be ubiquitous in terrestrial environments despite needing water to grow and reproduce. Many microscopic crustacean groups like
copepods Copepods (; meaning "oar-feet") are a group of small crustaceans found in nearly every freshwater and saltwater habitat (ecology), habitat. Some species are planktonic (inhabiting sea waters), some are benthos, benthic (living on the ocean floor) ...

copepods
and
amphipods Amphipoda is an order Order, ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is a quality that is characterized by a person’s interest in keeping their surroundings and themselves well organized, and is associated with other qualit ...

amphipods
(of which Sandhoppers are members) and
Seed Shrimp Ostracods, or ostracodes, are a Class (biology), class of the crustacean, Crustacea (class Ostracoda), sometimes known as seed shrimp. Some 70,000 species (only 13,000 of which are extant taxon, extant) have been identified, grouped into several ...

Seed Shrimp
are known to go dormant when dry and live in transient bodies of water too


See also

* Aquatic animal * Aquatic ecosystem * Aquatic locomotion * Aquatic mammal * Aquatic plant * List of semiaquatic tetrapods * Marine invertebrates * Marine mammal * Terrestrial (disambiguation), Terrestrial * Terrestrial ecosystem * Terrestrial locomotion * Terrestrial plant * * Wetland indicator status * Zoology


Further reading

* Jennifer A. Clack, Clack J. A. (2002). ''Gaining ground: the origin and evolution of tetrapods''. Indiana University Press, 369 pp., . * Cloudsley-Thompson J. L. (1988). ''Evolution and adaptation of terrestrial arthropods''. Springer Science+Business Media, Springer, 141 pp., . * Dejours P. et al. (1987). ''Comparative physiology: life in water and on land''. Liviana Editrice, Italy, 556 pp., . * Gordon M. S. & Olson E. C. (1995). ''Invasions of the land: the transitions of organisms from aquatic to terrestrial life''. Columbia University Press, 312 pp., . * Little C. (1983). ''The colonisation of land: Origins and adaptations of terrestrial animals''. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 290 pp., . * Little C. (1990). ''The terrestrial invasion. An ecophysiological approach to the origin of land animals''. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 304 pp. . *


References

This article incorporates CC-BY-2.0 text from the referenceKameda Y. & Kato M. (2011). "Terrestrial invasion of pomatiopsid gastropods in the heavy-snow region of the Japanese Archipelago". ''BMC Evolutionary Biology'' 11: 118. . and CC-BY-2.5 text from the referenceRaz S., Schwartz N. P., Mienis H. K., Nevo E. & Graham J. H. (2012). "Fluctuating Helical Asymmetry and Morphology of Snails (Gastropoda) in Divergent Microhabitats at ‘Evolution Canyons I and II,’ Israel". ''PLoS ONE'' 7(7): e41840. . and CC-BY-3.0 text from the reference {{DEFAULTSORT:Terrestrial Animal Zoology Animals by adaptation, Terrestrial