Mammals All Share These Characteristics

dog fish 1I am a dog and my owners are humans.  We are very different animals.  I walk around on four legs and am completely covered in long hair.  My owners only have two legs and they have hair on their head and a tiny bit of hair on the rest of their bodies.  My owners are able to talk to each other and write things down, whereas I can only bark and make other noises to communicate.  I do have a tail though that helps me communicate and they don’t have one.

Despite these big differences, we are both members of the same kind of animals – mammals.  There are a lot of major differences between us, but we have a number of things in common with all other mammals.  These things that we have in common are what make us mammals as opposed to birds, reptiles, or fish.

All Mammals Have These Characteristics

  • Have a backbone – they are vertebrates.
  • Mothers nurse their young – babies drink milk from their mother’s mammary glands;
  • Warm blooded – they can make and maintain their own body heat;
  • They all have hair.

What do mammals eat?

All mammals, including humans are one of three kinds of eaters.

  1. Herbivore – eat only plants and grasses.  Examples are deer and elk.
  2. Carnivore – eat only meat.  Examples are cougars and wolves.
  3. Omnivore – eat anything (meat and grasses).  An example is a black bear.