- A giraffe’s tongue is 20 inches long. They use it to clean their own ears.
- A hard working mole can dig a hole up to 300 feet deep over night.
- A whale’s heart beats very slowly. As slow as once every 6 seconds.
- Beavers can hold their breath for up to 15 minutes.
- Drivers actually kill more deer than hunters do.
- There are over 4,200 species of mammals.
- Even though it has a hump, a camel’s spine is straight.
- Cheetahs can run as fast as 70 miles per hour.
There are over 5,000 mammal species in the world, and we have some of the most exotic and endangered in the world.
Mammals are air-breathing animals, characterised by having hair or fur. Females possess mammary glands, which are used for suckling their young.
We have 1200 individual mammals from more than 50 different species, ranging in size from our tiny Harvest Mice up to our enormous Asian Elephants.
Many of the species that we specialise in, like the are in danger of becoming extinction in the wild in the next 25 years. The work done here with these species will help to conserve them for future generations.
What makes a mammal?
There are more than 4,000 different species of mammals. The smallest is the hog-nosed bat, which weighs 0.05 ounces. The largest is the blue whale, which can be 100 feet long and weigh 150 tons. But whether they live on land or water, all mammals share some common characteristics.
- Are vertebrates (which means they have a backbone or spine).
- Are endothermic. Also known as “warm-blooded,” endothermic animals regulate their own body temperate which allows them to live in almost every climate on Earth.
- Have hair on their bodies.
- Produce milk to feed their babies. This allows them to spend more time with their young and teach them important skills they need to survive on their own.
Three Types of Mammals
Mammals are sometimes divided into three types based on how they give birth and take care of their young.
- Live young – Most mammals give birth to live young (instead of laying eggs like birds or reptiles). These mammals are called placental mammals.
- Marsupials – Marsupials are special types of mammals that carry their young in a pouch. Some marsupials include the kangaroo, the koala, and the opossum.
- Egg laying – A few mammals lay eggs, they are called monotremes. Monotremes include the platypus and the long-nosed spiny anteater.
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