Mammals



What Is a Mammal?

Mammals live on land, at sea, in the air, and under the ground. All mammals, from bats to whales, share a number of important traits that make them different from other animals. Mammals are warm-blooded, they have fur or hair, and most mammals give birth to live young (rather than laying eggs).

European Ferret
 
 
 
This ferret is a European member of the weasel family. It was used in early American history on ships to rid the holds of rodents. An inquisitive carnivore, it uses the sense of smell to search for small rodents to eat. They have become popular in the pet trade, but require lots of handling to remain docile.
Geoffrey’s Tamarin
 
 
 
 
Geoffrey’s Tamarins are small primates from the rainforest of Panama in Central America. These monkeys live in groups of 10 to 15 and spend most of their time high in the trees searching for ripe fruits, flowers, and insects to eat. They communicate with each other with whistles and chirps. Because of habitat loss, they are endangered in the wild.
Prevost Squirrel
 
 
 
Nutty, the tropical squirrel, loves to eat grapes. Prevost Squirrels are from the rainforest of Borneo, Sumatra, and Malaysia. These squirrels are diurnal and territorial, spending most of their time high in the trees searching for ripe fruits, nuts, and insects to eat. While moving through the branches, their bushy tail is used for balance.
European Ferret
 
 
 
This ferret is a European member of the weasel family. It was used in early American history on ships to rid the holds of rodents. An inquisitive carnivore, it uses the sense of smell to search for small rodents to eat. They have become popular in the pet trade, but require lots of handling to remain docile.
African Hedgehog
 
 
 
 
The African Hedgehog is an omnivorous insectivore. They eat beetle grubs and earthworms along with assorted plant material. Their dorsal hairs are thick and stiff with a sharp pointed tip used for protection from predators. They have special muscles in their back that contract to pull the body into a spiny ball. Their bellies are covered with soft fur so the mother can nurse the young without injuring them.
Chinchilla
 
 
 
 
 
 
From high up in the Andes Mountains in South America, the Chinchilla needs its thick, soft fur coat to stay warm. They are nocturnal and use their large eyes to help see by moonlight. The large ears help detect prowling predators and long whiskers help them feel their way to their home in caves. Because of extreme hunting pressures, these animals are functionally extinct , that is, they are not found in the wild.
Opossum
 
 
 
Opossum are found in the west and south-eastern parts of North America. They are the only Marsupial (mammals with a pouch) that lives in North America. They are nocturnal, with a good sense of smell. The prehensile tail is used to assist in climbing.

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