Mammals can range in size from tiny rodents to enormous blue whales. Mammals are one of the six basic groups of animals and they can live in a wide variety of environments. Here are 11 interesting and unique facts about mammals.
It’s estimated that there are around 5,000 species of mammal. Exact counts of mammal species are difficult as some are still yet to be discovered while others are on the verge of extinction.
Mammals have warm-blooded metabolisms.
All mammals have hair to retain body heat, where some mammals have more hair than others. The title of “hairiest mammal in the world” is under debate. Some point at the Musk Ox, while others say sea lions contain more hair.
Mammals are more socially advanced than other types of animals, partly thanks to their bigger brains. Examples include the hunting capability of wolf packs, wildebeest’s herd behaviour and the ape communities’ dominant structure.
The different evolutionary niches the mammals have able to spread throughout the last fifty million years is extraordinary. There are flying mammals (bats), burrowing mammals (rabbits), tree-climbing mammals (monkeys), swimming mammals (whales) and hundreds of other varieties.
Mammals have been observed to display high levels of parental care.
Mammals are often divided into three different types based on how they give birth and how they take care of their young. They can be divided into “Live young”: where the mammals give birth to live young instead of laying eggs (most mammals), “marsupials”: where they carry their young in a pouch (e.g. kangaroo) and “egg-laying”: where the mammals lay eggs (e.g. platypus).
All mammals have mammary glands, which produce milk. This is used to nurture their young.
Despite being comparable, a chicken is neither a mammal nor a reptile. They’re classified as fowl.
Around 230 million years ago, the first true mammals evolved from therapsids (“mammal-like reptiles”).
Humans have depended on mammals for a long time for milk and meat. Furthermore, the skin of mammals has been utilised for clothing along with other products. Many types of mammals are endangered primarily due to overhunting and their habitats being destroyed.
Do you have any interesting or fun facts about mammals that we’ve not covered? Share them with us in the comments section below!