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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.

  • Foxes were domesticated by humans in the Bronze...
    on February 21, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    In the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, between the third and second millennium BC, a widespread funeral practice consisted in burying humans with animals. Scientists have discovered that both foxes and dogs were domesticated, as their diet was similar to that of their owners. […]

  • Zebra stripes are not good landing strips
    on February 20, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    The stripes of a zebra deter horse flies from landing on them, according to a new study. […]

  • Bat influenza viruses could infect humans
    on February 20, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    Bats don't only carry the deadly Ebola virus, but are also a reservoir for a new type of influenza virus. These newly discovered flu viruses could potentially also attack the cells of humans and livestock, researchers have now shown. […]

  • Activating tooth regeneration in mice
    on February 20, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Most reptiles and fish have multiple sets of teeth during their lifetime. However, most mammals, such as humans, have only one set of replacement teeth and some mammals, like mice, have only a single set with no replacement. This diversity raises both evolutionary questions -- how did different tooth replacement strategies evolve? -- and developmental ones -- which mechanisms prevent replacement teeth in animals that lost them? […]

  • Familiarity breeds aggression
    on February 19, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    Aggressiveness among animals may increase the longer individuals live together in stable groups. The study used the Amazon molly, a naturally clonal fish species that produces genetically identical individuals to isolate the effects of familiarity on behavior. […]


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.

  • Extinct weasel relative with confounding skull...
    on February 22, 2019 at 3:36 pm

    New research on an extinct weasel relative reveals what it might have eaten when it lived in North America and Asia about 20 million years ago. The oddly shaped skull of Leptarctus primus has long led to conflicting theories about its diet. But the new work, based on biomechanical modeling and published this week in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, shows that Leptarctus was likely a carnivorous predator, with capability for omnivory and a broader diet when prey was scarce, and had a […]

  • Study of human impact on food webs and ecosystems...
    on February 22, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    When the Australian government relocated Martu hunter-gatherers from their Western Australia lands in the 1960s, no one could have predicted the massive impact their absence would have on the desert ecosystem. A new study led by Stefani Crabtree, a Santa Fe Institute Visiting Researcher (Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center), and co-authored by Rebecca Bliege Bird and Douglas W. Bird of the Pennsylvania State University, shows the critical role humans […]

  • Studying species interactions using remote camera...
    on February 22, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Species are often involved in complex interactions with other species, which can affect their occurrence, abundance, feeding habits and disease transmission. Observing and studying species interactions can be difficult. To circumvent this problem, ecologists increasingly rely on remote devices such as camera traps. In a recent study carried out by researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) in Germany and University of California, Davis, USA, the […]

  • Being a dad is hard when you're a plainfin...
    on February 22, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    Each spring, male plainfin midshipman fish (Porichthys notatus) —a kind of toadfish —emerge from the depths of the Pacific Ocean to breed on the beach. They overwhelm the beach at low tide, wedge themselves beneath rocks and excavate a nest in the rocks and sand. When their work is completed, the bachelors settle down and hum to attract mates. […]

  • Climate change may affect ecological interactions...
    on February 22, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    With herbivores, omnivores, carnivores, insectivores, frugivores, scavengers and decomposers, Earth's ecosystems function within a vast web of interactions among plants, animals, insects, fungi and microorganisms. A fundamental part of this web resides in the equilibrium of the food chain that links predators to herbivores and regulates plant production on our planet. […]