Modern Mammals consist of a number of Orders, Families, Geneses & Species.
Perhaps the gray background of this page best signifies the Mammals. Mammals are believed to have existed during the age of Dinosaurs, but as very small shrew-like creatures which probably ate insects and other small live things. Mammals very well make have been colored much like modern shrews, mice and rats, i.e. a neutral pretty much unattractive color which would not call attention to predators. After Dinosaurs became extinct at the K-T Boundary (Cretaceous-Tertiary), the boundary where the Age of Reptiles became the Age of Mammals. Mammals came into dominance, as they gradually evolved into the many species which exist today, known and unknown (new species of Mammals are discovered from time to time in remote parts of the Earth).
Taxonomy Page and Mammals Chart
This is our statement of appreciation for the information on this page
which was copied from the following website:
Taxonomy is the scientific method of naming every
animal - but as you learn more and more about
animals, you will see that taxonomy is more
of an art than a science. There are pouched
animals without pouches, insect eaters that
eat meat, meat eaters that eat insects and
plants, and on and on. So it is necessary
to understand that taxonomy is primarily
just a method of singling out each animal
so that when biologists talk to each other
they know precisely which animal they are
It should also be noted that there isn't even solid agreement on which species belong in which orders. You will notice as you read through the various pages of orders that the number of species making up an order may be separately listed as two quite different numbers. Since these numbers have come from separate sources, it seems proper to allow each number to be mentioned despite the confusion this may create. A little confusion is probably a good thing to learn to accept when it comes to classifying animals.
These taxonomical names are usually not the popular names that we are familiar with, because the biological names are always in Latin. Many newly discovered invertebrates are still being named daily - especially among the insects. Except for a new rodent or a new bat every year or so, however, virtually all the mammals have been identified and named. A species is defined as the natural grouping of animals of a common ancestry, a reasonably close physical resemblance, and which in nature interbreed and produce fertile offspring. Among mammals a species may be confined to living in a single valley or on a single mountain; and then again a species may range throughout a continent or, indeed, over virtually the entire world.
The biological name given each species is in Latin, because that was decided by scientists a long time ago when Latin was a more popular language, and it simply makes no sense to change that system now. No matter what language a biologist speaks, if he or she discovers a new animal, and therefore earns the right to name that animal, that name will be in Latin. Usually the biologist names the animal after a physical trait or habit of the animal, but there are no rules to naming. Many animals are named after the scientist, himself, or the scientist's son, daughter or a friend.
The name of a species consists of two words, almost like one's surname plus the given name. The first name denotes the genus and is capitalized, and it organizes various similar species into a larger grouping. The second name denotes the particular species, and it is not capitalized.
The relationships among various species are
shown by grouping them into genera (the plural
form of the word "genus"), which
are grouped into a family, and related families
are grouped into an order, and the orders
are grouped into a class. There are 20 orders
of mammals recognized today (although that
number may also change), each of which will
have its own page.
Subdivisions are often used to further separate and/or group the relationships of animals. And geographical variants may cause a subspecies to be named, which may be commonly known as "breeds" or "races." Below is an example of a classification from "class" all the way down to "species" of a common animal we all know. The individual Latin words will be translated as far as possible so that you will be able to see how these names organize animals from the general to the specific.
|The wolf is classified as:
Below you will find the 20 orders of mammals as well as a list of the animals (many of which you can look up in America Zoo) that belong in each order. Each animal in the Zoo will have a link to the order page in which that animal is categorized. You can also get to the 20 order pages from the desktop using the alphabetical Index of Books. (this reference is to the website shown above--go to the Home Page for that website when you get there)
|Mammal Classification Table|
Mammals shown in blue have a separate page which
you may click on, to go to a page on that mammal.
Monito del monte
Marsupial mice, quoll
Tenrecs, otter shrews
Fruit bats, flying foxes
Hog-nosed, or bumblebee, bat
False vampire bats
Bulldog bats, fisherman bats
New World leaf-nosed bats
Indri, woolly lemur
Lorises, bushbabies, galagos
New World monkeys,
Squirrels, marmots, chipmunks
Pocket mice, kangaroo rats
Rats and mice
Old World porcupines
New World porcupines
Guinea pigs, maras
Nutria or coypu
African rock rat
Beluga whale, narwhal
Marine dolphins, killer whales
Dogs, foxes, wolves,
Raccoons, coatis, kinkajou,
Weasels, skunks, badgers,
Eared seals, sea lions
Horses, asses, zebras
Camels, llama, vicunas
Deer, elk, moose
Cattle, antelope, sheep,