Discovering animals: Mammals


Animals can be divided in five categories: mammals (mammalia), reptiles (reptilia), insects (insecta), amphibians (amphibia), birds (aves).

Mammals are animals that have hair, are warm-blooded, and nourish their young with milk. Their bodies are built to maintain about the same temperature all the time. Most mammal babies live inside their mothers before they are born, even if few of them lay eggs.

Mammals are vertebrates, which mean that they all have backbones.

Nils Rinaldi

Nils Rinaldi

Did you know? The biggest mammals are the blue whale and the African elephant

Let’s find out some curious mammals!

Narwhal: The Narwhal is a rare Arctic whale, known for the very long tooth that males have. All narwhals have two teeth in their upper jaw, after the first year of life, male’s left tooth grows outward, spirally. The teeth can reach the size of 7-10 feet (2-3 m) long. The tusk is probably used as a weapon in courtship and dominance rivalry, or in searching food. Tusking is a behaviour in which male narwhals rub their tusks together – perhaps determining dominance in the group.

It is said that long ago, when narwhal’s tusk was seen for the first time, lying on the beach, the unicorn legend started. They can grown up to 4-5 metres and weigh about 1.8 tons. They rarely leave the Arctic Sea where they hunt fish, squid and other animals. But they are also hunted, especially by polar bears, orcas, sharks, and men.

Echidnas: are small mammals, sometimes known as spiny ant eaters, Echidnas are covered with coarse hair and spines. Echidna and platypus are the only egg-laying mammals, known as monotremes. They are quite long-lived; in fact the longest recorded lifespan for a captive echidna is 50 years. They are usually solitary animals. In ancient Greek mythology, there was a monster called Echidna.



Sifaka: or “ghost of the forest” is a very rare lemur living in Madagascar. All the species are threatened because of habitat destruction and because female only give birth to babies every two years. They are extremely social and eat mostly leaves.

David Dennis

David Dennis

Duck billed platypus: is a venomous semi-aquatic mammal that lay eggs, has a log flat beak, beaver tail and webbed feet. It’s one of the national symbols of Australia.

Arthur Chapman

Arthur Chapman