THE BACKBONE OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM - A marine vertebrate is an animal in the of Kingdom Animalia classification and belonging to the sub phylum Vertebrata.
The group includes more than 60,000 species of the Phylum Chordata.
Marine vertebrates include seven structurally complex superclass organisms such as amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds, bony fish, sharks, and rays.
Surviving vertebrates range in size from a 7.7 mm frog to the 33 metre blue whale.
Vertebrates account for approximately 4% of all animal species the others being invertebrates - without a backbone.
All vertebrates - marine life included - have an interior skeleton structure; sometimes as traditional bone; others as cartilage; sometimes a mixture of both.