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Mammalia

Mammals

Mammals are a class (group) of vertebrate animals whose females are characterized by the possession of mammary glands while both males and females are characterized by sweat glands, hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex region in the brain.
Mammals are divided into three main categories depending how they are born. These categories 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 groups 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, distributed in about 1,200 genera, 153 families, and 29 orders (though this varies by classification scheme). Mammals range in size from the 30–40-millimetre (1.2–1.6 in) Bumblebee Bat to the 33-metre (110 ft) Blue Whale.
 

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ORDERS in the Class Mammalia

Afrosoricida ( Golden Moles and Tenrecs )

Golden Moles and Tenrecs  ( Afrosoricida)
The order Afrosoricida consists of 21 species of golden moles and 34 species of tenrecs, all native to southern Africa and Madagascar. Originally, tenrecs and golden moles were grouped with the hedgehogs, shrews and moles in the order Insectivora.

Artiodactyla ( Even-toed Ungulates )

Artiodactyla (Even-toed Ungulates)
Animals in the order Artiodactyla are known as the even toed animals. Artiodactyls are sometimes called cloven hooved, that is they have two toes. Artiodactyla skulls come in many shapes and forms. Animals of the order Artiodactyla may have antlers or horns. Deer have antlers. Antlers are only grown by the males, with the exception of caribou in which both sexes carry them. Antlers are shed each year.

Carnivora ( Bears, Dogs, Cats, Seals and Allies )

Carnivora (Bears, Dogs, Cats, Seals and Allies)
Carnivore means "flesh-eater", and although this may refer to any mammal dining exclusively on other animals, is also the order assigned by taxonomists to include dogs, cats, bears and weasels. In actuality, many of these species are omnivorous, eating both plants and animals.

Cetacea ( Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises )

Cetacea (Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises)
The order Cetacea is made up of the Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises of the world. There are 79 species ranging from the tiny Finless Porpoise, measuring 1.2 meters and weighing 25kg, to the enormous Blue Whale, which may grow to lengths of up to 31 meters and weigh up to 190,000kg.

Chiroptera ( Fruit Bats and Insectivore Bats )

Chiroptera (Fruit Bats and Insectivore Bats)
Chiroptera, the second largest mammalian order, is comprised solely of bats. These winged creatures are the only mammals capable of true flight. The order is broken into two suborders, Megachiroptera, the large herbivorous fruit bats, and Microchiroptera, the small insectivorous bats.

Cingulata ( Armadillos )

Cingulata (Armadillos)
This order of placental mammals contains approximately 20 species of armadillos. They range from the Pink Fairy Armadillo that weighs 3 ounces to the 132 pound Giant Armadillo. Until recently, Cingulata was placed in the order Xenarthra (now considered a superorder), along with the anteaters and sloths.

Dermoptera ( Flying Lemurs (Colugos) )

Dermoptera (Flying Lemurs (Colugos))
his small order contains the two species of Flying Lemurs, commonly known as Colugos. They are very unusual small mammals found throughout southeast Asia, and are totally arboreal and mostly nocturnal. They possess a very well-developed gliding membrane that attaches at the neck and extends the length of the body. It allows the animal to glide to a distance of 100 meters or more to escape from predators.

Hyracoidea ( Hyraxes )

Hyracoidea (Hyraxes)
The skull of a hyrax has 38 teeth. They have a single pair of upper incisors that grow continuously. These incisors are long and curved. The pre-molars resemble the molars and are arranged in a continuous series with the molars. The skull and dentition resembles that of a miniature rhinoceros skull.

Insectivora: Erinaceomorpha ( Hedgehogs )

Insectivora: Erinaceomorpha (Hedgehogs)
The order Erinaceomorpha contains the single family of Erinaceidae, which is comprised of the hedgehogs and gymnures. The 17 species belonging to this order can be found in Africa, Eurasia, southeastern Asia and Borneo. This order was once considered part of the now obsolete order Insectivora.

Insectivora: Soricomorpha ( Shrews, Moles, Solenodons )

Insectivora: Soricomorpha (Shrews, Moles, Solenodons)
nsectivores, members of the order Insectivora, are some of the smallest mammals in existence. Two hundred fifty of the three hundred fifty species of this order are shrews. Moles, tenrecs and hedgehogs make up the remainder. One of the largest members of this order, the solenodon (found in Cuba and Haiti) and some shrews secrete poison from a gland above their teeth to subdue prey.

Lagomorpha ( Rabbits and Hares )

Lagomorpha (Rabbits and Hares)
The order Lagomorpha consists of rabbits, hares, and pikas. Once included in the order Rodentia, the differences found in lagomorphs earned them an order of their own. Rabbits differ from rodents in that rabbits have two sets of upper incisors, rather than one.

Macroscelidea ( Elephant Shrews )

Macroscelidea (Elephant Shrews)
The order Macroscelidae is made up of 15 very small mammal species found only on the African continent and on the island of Zanzibar. All species have sensitive, moveable, elongated snouts. They are mostly diurnal except in the hot weather, when they use the night's cool temperature to avoid the heat of the day.

Marsupialia: Dasyuromorphia ( Tasmanian Devil & Tasmanian Wolf )

Marsupialia: Dasyuromorphia (Tasmanian Devil & Tasmanian Wolf)
Commonly known as marsupials, members are divided into seven orders; Didelphimorphia, Paucituberculata, Microbiotheria, Dasyuromorphia, Peramelemorphia, Notoryctemorphia, and Diprotodontia. the members of the order Marsupialia are pouch-bearing mammals who give birth to underdeveloped offspring.

Marsupialia: Didelphimorphia ( American Opossums )

Living didelphimorphs, the opossums, are a diverse group of marsupials, including only one family but over 60 species. Most occupy Central and South America, but one species, Didelphis virginiana, occurs through most of the continental United States. Living didelphimorphs are small to medium in size. Their morphology is often referred to as "generalized," and they probably differ little in most respects from their Cretaceous ancestors.

Marsupialia: Diprotodontia ( Koalas, Possums, Kangaroo, Wallabies )

Marsupialia: Diprotodontia (Koalas, Possums, Kangaroo, Wallabies)
Commonly known as marsupials, members are divided into seven orders; Didelphimorphia, Paucituberculata, Microbiotheria, Dasyuromorphia, Peramelemorphia, Notoryctemorphia, and Diprotodontia. the members of the order Marsupialia are pouch-bearing mammals who give birth to underdeveloped offspring.

Marsupialia: Peramelemorphia ( Bandicoots and Bilbies )

Marsupialia: Peramelemorphia ( Bandicoots and Bilbies)
The order of marsupials, Peramelemorphia, includes 2 families, the Peramelidae (bandicoots and bilbies) and Peroryctidae (spiny bandicoots, mouse bandicoot). Peramelemorphs are terrestrial animals of small to medium size. They have long pointed heads and compact bodies. Their forearms are short and and their hindlimbs relatively long. The forefeet of most species are adapted for digging, with long forefeet and strong claws on second, third, and fourth toes.

Monotremata ( Echidnas and Platypus )

The skull of a monotreme has a smooth, rounded cranial portion ending in a long nose covered by rubbery sensitive skin. The sutures of the skull fuse and appear to fade as the animal matures. Young platypuses have teeth, but they do not emerge through the gums. True functional teeth are not present in adult monotremes.

Perissodactyla ( Horses, Tapirs and Rhinoceros )

Perissodactyla (Horses, Tapirs and Rhinoceros)
The order Perissodactyla includes rhinoceroses, tapers, horses and zebras. These animals are commonly considered odd-toed ungulates. This refers to their odd number of toes, such as is found in the one-toed single hoof of the plains zebra or the three-toed split hooves of the Brazilian tapir.

Pholidota ( Pangolins (Scaly Anteaters) )

Pholidota (Pangolins (Scaly Anteaters))
The order Pholidota is exclusive to the seven species of pangolins found throughout Africa and Asia. Although these slow and deliberate animals may initially look related to anteaters, it is now believed that their similarities may be more accurately described as adaptations to a common way of life rather then to actual relationship.

Pilosa ( Anteaters and Sloths )

Pilosa (Anteaters and Sloths)
The order Pilosa consists of anteaters and sloths. Until recently, Pilosa was lumped with the armadillos in the order Xenarthra, now generally regarded as a superorder. In the past, these families were classified together with the pangolins and aardvark as the order Edentata.

Primates ( Prosimians, Monkeys, Apes and Humans )

Primates (Prosimians, Monkeys, Apes and Humans)
The mammalian order Primates contains over 230 species and includes the prosimians, monkeys and apes. All primates are omnivorous, although many who live in rain forests eat vegetation almost exclusively. Primate eyes face forward which allows for binocular vision.

Proboscidea ( Elephants )

Proboscidea (Elephants)
This order consists of the largest land animals alive today. It includes the Asian and African Elephants exclusively. They may reach height of 400cm and weigh as much as 7500kg.

Rodentia ( Rodents )

Rodentia (Rodents)
he order Rodentia consist of nearly 2000 species or mice, rats, squirrels, gophers, porcupines and various other rodents, and is the largest mammalian order. The worlds largest rodent is the capybara while the smallest is the pygmy mouse. Rodents naturally occur everywhere around the world with the exception of Antarctica and New Zealand, but have been introduced there as well.

Scadentia ( Tree Shrews )

Scadentia (Tree Shrews)
The order Scandentia is made up of 16 species of long-snouted squirrel-like mammals. They are found in Eastern Asia through the Malay Peninsula, Borneo and the Philippines. Formally thought of as primates, these small mammals are mostly diurnal, although some species are active at night.

Sirenia ( Manatees and Dugongs )

Sirenia (Manatees and Dugongs)
The order Sirenia consists of three living species of Manatees and a single species of Dugong. These animals are most accurately characterized by their curious gentle nature. Measuring up to 400cm long and weighing up to 908kg, they spend their days slowley floating around warm coastlines in search of aquatic plants.

Tubulidentata ( Aardvarks )

Tubulidentata (Aardvarks)
Tubulidentata is an order of mammals that contains only one family, with one living genus, and a single species, the Aardvark. Aardvarks have narrow heads and long snouts. Their ears are large and hearing acute. The short, stout legs, partially-webbed feet, and long claws are well suited for burrowing large sleeping dens and for tearing apart mounds of the ants and termites on which it feeds with its long sticky tongue.