An animal (from the Latin animalis "animate, living, animal") is in biology, according to the classical classification, a heterotrophic living being, that is to say that it feeds on organic substances. The term "animal" is now reserved for complex and multicellular (metazoan) beings, although protozoa have long been considered as unicellular animals. Like other living beings, every animal has similar species with which it forms a homogeneous group, called species.
In modern scientific classifications, the taxon of animals is called Animalia (Linnaeus' original creation in 1758, with regard to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) or Metazoa (a junior synonym created by Haeckel in 1874), whatever the term used or whatever the classification chosen (evolutionist or cladist), the animals are consensually described as multicellular eukaryotic organisms generally mobile and heterotrophic.
In everyday language, the term "animal" or "non-human animal" is often used to distinguish the rest of the animal world from humans. © Pictures of Emmanuel Buchot
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