BioKIDS home

Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species



Mammals are vertebrate animals that have hair on their bodies. Hair can take many forms, including whiskers, spines, fur, and even horns. All mammals have lungs, so even those living in water must come to surface to breath air. Although two mammal species lay eggs, all others give birth to live babies. All female mammals feed their babies with milk from their own bodies and therefore always care for their babies for a period of time after they are born. Like birds, all mammals are warm-blooded, which means that they can make their own body heat and can stay warm even when the sun is not out. Mammals can be predators, herbivores, or omnivores. Different species eat different kinds of food, including other vertebrates (living or dead), invertebrates, green plants, nuts , seeds, or fruit. Most mammals live on the ground, but there are many that live in trees or make burrows under the ground, and some mammals like the dolphins and whales live their entire lives in the oceans.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

BioKIDS home  |  Questions?  |  Animal Diversity Web  |  Cybertracker Tools

. "Mammalia" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed February 24, 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.
Copyright © 2002-2024, The Regents of the University of Michigan. All rights reserved.

University of Michigan