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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.

  • The African wild dog: An ambassador for the...
    on May 7, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    The world's largest terrestrial conservation area is located in southern Africa and covers 520,000 square kilometers spanning five countries. A study now shows that the endangered African wild dog mostly remains within the boundaries of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) when dispersing, thus highlighting the relevance of such a large-scale conservation initiative for maintaining key wildlife corridors of threatened species.

  • PCB contamination in Icelandic orcas: a matter of...
    on May 6, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    A new study suggests that some Icelandic killer whales have very high concentrations of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in their blubber. But it seems that other orcas from the same population have levels of PCBs that are much lower. It mainly depends on what they eat.

  • Engineers and biologists join forces to reveal...
    on May 6, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    Seals and sea lions are fast swimming ocean predators that use their flippers to literally fly through the water. But not all seals are the same: some swim with their front flippers while others propel themselves with their back feet.

  • New bonobo genome fine tunes great ape evolution...
    on May 5, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    A new, high-quality bonobo genome assembly has been constructed. It is allowing scientists to more accurately compare the bonobo genome to that of other great apes - the gorilla, orangutan, chimpanzee - and to the modern human. This analysis is revealing new information about hominid evolution, distinctions between chimps and bonobos and genetic relations among present-day hominids, and predicts a greater fraction of the human genome is genetically closer to chimps and bonobos.

  • Urgent action needed to protect dolphins and...
    on May 5, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    Marine scientists are calling on the EU to adopt a comprehensive plan to protect dolphins and porpoises from fisheries bycatch in European waters. To help address the bycatch issue, which is the primary global threat to dolphins and porpoises, the researchers put forward a framework to reduce bycatch levels.


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.

  • One incredible ocean crossing may have made human...
    on April 30, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    Humans evolved in Africa, along with chimpanzees, gorillas and monkeys. But primates themselves appear to have evolved elsewhere—likely in Asia—before colonizing Africa. At the time, around 50 million years ago, Africa was an island isolated from the rest of the world by ocean—so how did primates get there?

  • Eastern and Western house mice took parallel...
    on April 29, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    The European house mouse has invaded nearly every corner of the Americas since it was introduced by colonizers a few hundred years ago, and now lives practically everywhere humans store their food.

  • Researchers have devised a new sampling method...
    on April 29, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    Researchers at Imperial have been developing a novel method of detecting the presence of an elusive species, the hazel dormouse.

  • DNA-inspired 'supercoiling' fibers could make...
    on April 29, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    The double helix of DNA is one of the most iconic symbols in science. By imitating the structure of this complex genetic molecule we have found a way to make artificial muscle fibers far more powerful than those found in nature, with potential applications in many kinds of miniature machinery such as prosthetic hands and dextrous robotic devices.

  • Mammals' brains: New research shows bigger...
    on April 29, 2021 at 1:58 pm

    If a friend boasts of having a "big-brained" dog, your reaction is probably not to ask "relative to what?" You would simply assume your friend thinks their dog is pretty smart. But are we always right to equate big brains with greater intelligence?