Living things are grouped together. There are different characteristics unique to the group E.G: Feathers are unique to birds.
Animals with backbones are called Vertebrates.
The five kingdoms are:
Animalia: Animals are multicelluar. The cells have no chorophyll and are not surrounded by a cell wall. They feed from food obtained from the enviroment and digested within the body. (Heterotrophically).
Plantae: These are also multicelluar. It does have chorophyll and a cell wall. They obtain food from photosynthesis. (Autotrpohically).
Fungi: Usually Multicelluar. No Chorophyll but does have a cell wall (not made of cellulose). Feed on dead organic matter (Saprophytically)
Protoctista: Unicelluar (except seaweed). Distinct nuculeus.
Prokaryote: Body is unicelluar. No distinct nuculeus.
A phylum is a group of living things with shared characteristics. Chordates form the phylum chordata and the vertebrates are a sub-group of the larger grouping.