10 Characteristics of Mammals

Thursday, September 26, 2019




                       


What makes a mammal a mammal?

My dog is considered a mammal, however, so is a dolphin and an elephant. These two mammals are very different yet both are classified as mammals. Let's take a look at 10 traits almost all mammals have.

10 characteristics mammals


10 Characteristics of Mammals

1. Mammals have a backbone and spinal cord. The vertebrae protect the spinal cord which delivers electrical signals from the brain throughout the body. These electrical signals help mammals run, jump, swim, and many other tasks.

spinal chord



2. Mammals have hair. The hair protects the mammal from the sun, freezing, rain, and slows evaporation of moisture.

mammals have hair



3. Mammals have special glands called mammary glands that secrete milk which allows mammals to provide milk for their young. The offspring of mammals depend on this milk at the beginning of their life.

trait mammal



4. Mammals also have sweat glands that help them cool down when it is hot outside.

sweating


5. Mammals have a four-chamber heart. This heart has two upper chambers called atriums and two lower chambers called ventricles. The four-chamber heart allows mammals to pump large volumes of blood and oxygen throughout their body.

4 chamber heart



6. Mammals have different types of teeth that serve many purposes.

mammals have teeth


7. Mammals are endothermic or warm-blooded which means they can generate internal heat to moderate body temperature. Their body temperature does not rely on their surroundings like the temperature of reptiles.

8. Mammals have a unique jaw shape. Their lower jaw or mandible forms a joint, in other words, it articulates with the skull. They also have an arch called the zygomatic arch. 

zygomatic arch


9. Almost all mammals have external ears that allow them to hear. 
The platypus does not have external ears but hears with its bill along with several marine mammals like the dolphin don’t have external ears. The large external ears of an elephant allow it to hear and help cool the elephant.

ears elephant


10. Mammals have skin.

Partial List of Mammals
Lions
Tigers
Lynx
Cats
Elephants
Fox
Wolve
Rhinoceroses
Llamas
Camels
Bears
Giraffes
Deer
Weasels
Badgers
Mongoose
Hyenas
Seals
Antelopes
Beavers
Squirrels
Voles
Manatees
Lemmings
Lemurs
Anteaters
Shrews
Monkeys
Gorillas
Wallabies
Bats
Seals
Porcupines

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