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Characteristics of mammals
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Characteristics of mammals


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  • 1. Characteristics of Mammals
  • 2. The First Mammals• 280 million years ago, reptiles called “therapsids” existed, which had characteristics of both reptiles and mammals• True mammals appeared soon after• They were about the size of mice, were warm blooded, and were able to hunt at night because they could maintain their body temperature
  • 3. Common Characteristics• Mammals share 7 characteristics: – 1) Making Milk • All mammals have mammary glands, which are structures that make milk • Only mature females produce milk for their young • All milk is made of sugars, water, proteins, and fats
  • 4. – (2) Breathing Air • Mammals use their lungs to get oxygen from the air • Mammals have a muscle to help them get air called a diaphragm it lies at the bottom of the rib cage
  • 5. – (3) Endothermic • As oxygen helps break down a mammal’s food, energy is released • This energy keeps a mammal warm • Like birds, mammals are endotherms • Helps them survive in cold areas
  • 6. – (4) Hair • Mammals stay warm by having hair • Thick coats are called fur • Most mammals have a layer of fat under their skin to keep them warm • This fat traps heat in the body
  • 7. – (5) Specialized Teeth • Mammals have teeth with different shapes and sizes for different jobs • Meat-eating mammals have large canines to help eat prey • Plant-eating mammals have larger incisors and molars to help them bite and grind plants
  • 8. – (6) Sexual Reproduction • Most mammals give birth to live young • Newborn mammals stay with at least one parent until they are grown
  • 9. – (7) Large Brains • Mammal’s brain is much larger than that of most other animals of the same size • Allows mammals to learn and think quickly • Also allows mammals to respond quickly to events around them • Mammal uses its senses to find out about the world
  • 10. Placental Mammals• Placental mammal: embryo develops inside the mother’s body in an organ called a uterus – The placenta attaches the embryo to the uterus – Placenta carries food and oxygen from the mother’s blood to the embryo and carries wastes away from the embryo – The time that the embryo develops is called the gestation period
  • 11. • Living placental mammals are divided into 11 main groups that contain 18 orders: – (1) anteaters, armadillos, & sloths • These mammals are called “toothless mammals” but only anteaters have no teeth • Most catch insects with long, sticky tongues
  • 12. • Insectivores • Rodents – Eat insects – More than one-third of – Most are small with mammal species are long pointed noses rodents – Include moles, shrews, – Include squirrels, and hedgehogs mice, porcupines
  • 13. • Rabbits, Hares, and • Flying Mammals Pikas – Bats are the only – Have sharp, gnawing mammals that fly teeth – Most use echoes to – Have 2 sets of incisors find their food and they in their upper jaw way – Shorter tails than rodents
  • 14. • Carnivores • Trunk-Nosed – Have large canine Mammals teeth and special – Elephants are the only molar teeth for slicing living mammals with a meat trunk – Many only eat meat – A trunk is a – Includes bears, cats, combination of an dogs, otters, hyenas upper lip and nose
  • 15. • Hoofed Mammals • Cetaceans – A hoof is a thick, hard – All cetaceans live in pad that covers a the water mammal’s toe – Unlike fish, they have – Most hoofed mammals lungs and nurse their are fast runners young – Includes giraffes, – Includes whales, camels, pigs dolphins, and porpoises
  • 16. • Manatees and • Primates Dugongs – Have 5 fingers on – Smallest group of each hand and 5 toes mammals that live in on each foot the water – Considered highly – Used their front intelligent animals flippers and tail to – Includes monkeys, swim slowly apes, and humans
  • 17. • Monotremes – Mammals that lay eggs – Examples: duck-billed platypus, echidna• Marsupials – Mammals that carry their young in a pouch – Several species of marsupials living today – Examples: koalas, opposum, kangaroo