7 Difference Between Aquatic and Terrestrial Animals (With Table)

Aquatic and terrestrial are two classifications based on where the animals are found. Aquatic animals are found in water bodies such as ponds, lakes, seas, streams, rivers, and wetlands. Terrestrial animals are found on the land in places such as forests and deserts.

The main difference between aquatic and terrestrial animals is that aquatic animals respire through their gills or skin while terrestrial animals respire through their lungs or trachea. The two categories of animals have different structures which they use to exchange gases.

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Comparison Table (Aquatic vs Terrestrial animals)

Characteristics Aquatic animals Terrestrial animals
Meaning Refers to animals who live in water. Refers to animals who live on land exclusively.
Habitat They inhabit water bodies. They inhabit lands.
Structures Used In Respiration They respire through gills or skin. They respire through the lungs or trachea.
Adaptations They have streamlined bodies, webbed feet, air bladder, and fins. They have legs, waterproof skin, feathers, covered eggs, and kidneys.
Skin The skin is slimy, slippery, and soft. The skin is leathery, hard, spiny.
Internal Body Temperature They are cold-blooded. They are warm-blooded.
What They Feed On They mostly feed on algae. They feed on grass, berries, flowers, and seeds.
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What Are Aquatic Animals?

Aquatic animals are animals that live in water bodies. They have various adaptations to enable them to live in the water bodies. Their bodies are streamlined, have webbed feet, have air bladder and fins and these features on their bodies enable them to live in water.

They can either be vertebrates or invertebrates. They either breathe through skin or gills which absorb oxygen from water. They can be found in both marine and freshwater bodies. As they live in water, they mostly feed on algae which are often found in water.

These animals are cold-blooded. That is, they cannot control their internal body temperatures hence they become sluggish during the cold weather.

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What Are Terrestrial Animals?

Terrestrial animals refer to animals that live on land exclusively. They can either be vertebrates or invertebrates. They breathe through the lungs. Oxygen is diffused into the blood through the wet membrane. The animals have different modes of locomotion. They can fly, walk, crawl, hop, or even jump.

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They are warm-blooded animals. They can control their internal body temperatures and remain active either when it is hot or cold. As they live on land, they have various adaptations that enable them to live on land. They have legs to walk, some of them have their bodies are covered with feathers.

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Main Differences between Aquatic and Terrestrial Animals

  1. Aquatic animals live in water while terrestrial animals live on land exclusively.
  2. Aquatic animals are cold-blooded while terrestrial animals are warm-blooded.
  3. Aquatic animals breathe through gills while terrestrial animals breathe through lungs.
  4. Aquatic animals have slimy, slippery, and soft skin while terrestrial animals have leathery, hard, and spiny skin.
  5. Aquatic animals have streamlined bodies, webbed feet, air bladder, and fins that enable them to live in water while terrestrial animals have legs, covered with feathers, waterproof skin to enable them to live on land.
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Similarities between Aquatic and Terrestrial Animals

  1. They both can be either vertebrates or invertebrate animals.
  2. They both show various adaptations to enable them to live in different environments.
  3. They both breathe in oxygen using various structures on their bodies.

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In Conclusion

Both aquatic and terrestrial animals are the two classifications of animals. This is based on where the animals live. Aquatic animals can either be found in freshwater bodies or marine water. Terrestrial animals live on land exclusively. Aquatic animals breathe through gills or skin while terrestrial animals breathe through lungs. The main feature that makes the animals different is where they live.

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