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Mammals – Mammalogy (Martindale’s Reference Desk)

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mammal : any of a class (Mammalia) of warm-blooded higher vertebrates (such as placentals, marsupials, or monotremes) that nourish their young with milk secreted by mammary glands, have the skin usually more or less covered with hair, and include humans — Webster

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Mammals are the vertebrates within the class Mammalia, a clade of endothermic amniotes distinguished from reptiles (including birds) by the possession of a neocortex (a region of the brain), hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands. Females of all mammal species nurse their young with milk, secreted from the mammary glands.

Mammals include the largest animal on the planet, the blue whale. The basic body type is a terrestrial quadruped, but some mammals are adapted for life at sea, in the air, in trees, underground or on two legs. The largest group of mammals, the placentals, have a placenta, which enables the feeding of the fetus during gestation. Mammals range in size from the 30–40 mm (1.2–1.6 in) bumblebee bat to the 30-meter (98 ft) blue whale. With the exception of the five species of monotreme (egg-laying mammals), all modern mammals give birth to live young. Most mammals, including the six most species-rich orders, belong to the placental group. The largest orders are the rodents, bats and Soricomorpha (shrews and allies). The next three biggest orders, depending on the biological classification scheme used, are the Primates (apes and monkeys), the Cetartiodactyla (whales and even-toed ungulates), and the Carnivora (cats, dogs, seals, and allies). — Wikipedia

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Mammals News -- ScienceDaily Mammals in the news, wild mammals, mammal conservation efforts, and domesticated mammals.

  • A new early whale, Aegicetus gehennae, and the...
    on December 11, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    A newly discovered fossil whale represents a new species and an important step in the evolution of whale locomotion.

  • Deciphering the equations of life
    on December 11, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Research has resulted in a set of equations that describes and predicts commonalities across life despite its enormous diversity. The new theory allows predictions for organisms that might not be well understood by science.

  • Study of elephant, capybara, human hair finds...
    on December 11, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Despite being four times thicker than human hair, elephant hair is only half as strong -- that's just one finding from researchers studying the hair strength of many different mammals. Their work shows that thin hair tends to be stronger than thick hair because of the way that it breaks.

  • Illumination drives bats out of caves
    on December 11, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Researchers have investigated how the illumination of bat caves affects the animals' behavior and whether the color of light makes a difference on their flight. Although red light irritates the small mammals somewhat less than white light, from the researchers' point of view neither the entrance nor the interior of bat caves should be illuminated if bats are present.

  • Why polar bears at sea have higher pollution...
    on December 11, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    As the climate changes, myriad animal populations are being impacted. In particular, Arctic sea-ice is in decline, causing polar bears in the Barents Sea region to alter their feeding and hunting habits. Bears that follow sea-ice to offshore areas have higher pollutant levels than those staying on land -- but why? A new study reports the likely reasons.


Phys.org - latest science and technology news stories Phys.org internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.

  • Scales offer insight into chronic stress of fish,...
    on December 11, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    For years, aquatic researchers have sought an easy way to determine when wild fish are under stress. Now University of Guelph researchers have shown for the first time that a key stress hormone, cortisol, accumulates in fish scales slowly and remains there for weeks.

  • Uncovering how endangered pangolins, or 'scaly...
    on December 11, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    The endangered Sunda pangolin, or "scaly anteater," is a widely trafficked mammal, prized in some cultures for its meat and scales. Little is known about these animals, and raising rescued pangolins is tricky. In the wild, they eat termites and ants, but diets provided in captivity often make them sick. Now, a study in ACS Omega reports that pangolins lack some common digestive enzymes, which could explain why some diets don't work well for them.

  • Study of elephant, capybara, human hair finds...
    on December 11, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    Despite being four times thicker than human hair, elephant hair is only half as strong—that's just one finding from researchers studying the hair strength of many different mammals. Their work, appearing in a paper publishing December 11 in the journal Matter, shows that thin hair tends to be stronger than thick hair because of the way that it breaks.

  • Illumination drives bats out of caves, no matter...
    on December 11, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    Artificial light influences the behavior of many nocturnal animals such as bats, which are very sensitive to all types of lighting. Particularly critical is the illumination of natural caves in which bats roost. Cave illumination is widespread in tourist areas worldwide and disturbs the animals in their resting places. Researchers of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) and the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology (MPIO) have now investigated how the illumination of […]

  • School citizen science project dramatically...
    on December 11, 2019 at 8:39 am

    Children who participated in a citizen science project called MammalWeb, where they used camera traps to detect wildlife visiting their schools, were able to identify twice the number of UK mammals by the end of the project. The preliminary results are presented today at the British Ecological Society's annual meeting in Belfast.