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[intromam1]Introduction to the Mammal Gallery

Welcome to the Mammal Gallery, all the pictures are mine but most of the text has been taken from “Wild Animals of Britain & Europe” by Helga Hofmann which is a Collins Nature Guide.

All the Mammals have been found in the British Isles as I have not been brave enough to go looking abroad yet ;o)

The Mammals have been split into ten sections which should help you in finding any, but if there are difficulties use the search engine. There are also some sections on Mammal signs which I hope will help you.

[whataremamamals1]What are Mammals?

Mammals are a class of vertebrate, air-breathing animals whose females are characterized by the possession of mammary glands while both males and females are characterized by hair and or fur, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex region in the brain. Some mammals have sweat glands, but most do not.

Mammals are divided into three main infraclass taxa depending how they are born. These taxa are: monotremes, marsupials and placentals. Except for the five species of monotremes (which lay eggs), all mammal species give birth to live young. Most mammals also possess specialized teeth, and the largest group of mammals, the placentals, use a placenta during gestation. The mammalian brain regulates endothermic and circulatory systems, including a four-chambered heart.

There are approximately 5,400 species of mammals, mammals range in size from the 30–40 millimetres (1- to 1.5-inch) Bumblebee Bat to the 33-meter (108-foot) Blue Whale.

Mammals are divided into two subclasses: the Prototheria, which includes the oviparous monotremes, and the Theria, which includes the placentals and live-bearing marsupials. Most mammals, including the six largest orders, belong to the placental group. The three largest orders, in descending order, are Rodentia (mice, rats, porcupines, beavers, capybaras, and other gnawing mammals), Chiroptera (bats), and Soricomorpha (shrews, moles and solenodons). The next three largest orders include the Carnivora (dogs, cats, weasels, bears, seals, and their relatives), the Cetartiodactyla (including the even-toed hoofed mammals and the whales) and the Primates to which the human species belongs.


This group comprises about half the worlds living mammals.Dentition highly characteristic-one pair of permanently growing incisors used for gnawing, with enamel confined to the front. No canines, but diastema, where the mouth can be closed off by folds ofskin. Molars usually with complex patterns used in longitudinal or oblique grinding movement.


Ground living or burrowing animals with enlarged hind legs. Dentition highly specialised for grazing,permanently growing incisors like rodents but with two upper incisors, diastema, no canines and high crowned cheek teeth. Chewing is transverse unlike rodents.


A group where many primitive characteristics have been retained-small size,plantigrade feet,small brain,long mobile snout,cheek teeth with sharp interlocking cusps for eating insects and worms. In other respects they are very diverse, as can be seen from the three british families.


Flying mammals with wing membrane supported by elongated 2nd-5th fingers and the hind limb. British bats all belong to the sub order Microchiroptera, which all have the ability to echolocate and are represented by two families, the ""vesper"" bats and the ""horseshoe"" bats.


Typically meat-eating mammals with claws, small incisors and large canines. A pair of carnassial teeth usually developed for cutting and shearing. Powerful jaw muscles with hinged jaw joint.


Marine mammals, in a sub-order of carnivores, with simplified teeth and limbs converted to flippers. Highly adapted for diving.


Fully aquatic, mainly marine, mammals with practically no hair but a thick layer of blubber. Fore limbs are paddles, no external hindlimbs, tail enlarged to form swimming organ and lateral flukes. Dorsal fin also present. Skeleton very light and skull highly modified with blow-hole on top of head. Cetaceans have many adaptations for diving and echolocation.


Ungulates with the axis of the hooves between the 3rd and 4th digits.


Ungulates with the axis of the hooves along the 3rd digit. Herbivores with grinding cheek teeth.

[oa14]Dogs and Cats

Man's best friend.

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