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Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species

bears, cats, wolves, weasels, and relatives


The mammalian order Carnivora is very diverse and includes many mainly carnivorous mammals such as: bears, cats, wolves, foxes, weasels, badgers, ferrets, otters, skunks, mongooses, genets, raccoons, hyenas, seals, sea lions, and walruses. Members of this group can be found on all continents of the world and in all the oceans. Most are medium-sized but some are very large, such as bears and sea lions. They are sometimes called the carnivores because most eat meat and they evolved from meat-eating ancestors. However, not all meat-eating mammals are members of this group and not all members of this group eat meat (for example, Giant Pandas).

Members of this group are some of the fastest animals on land, including cheetahs. They mainly hunt by sneaking up on prey and then using a short burst of speed. They are highly intelligent and possess keen senses, including excellent vision, hearing, sense of touch, and an especially remarkable sense of smell.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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. "Carnivora" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed May 30, 2024 at

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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