mammal


mam·mal

noun \ˈma-məl\

: a type of animal that feeds milk to its young and that usually has hair or fur covering most of its skin

Full Definition of MAMMAL

:  any of a class (Mammalia) of warm-blooded higher vertebrates (as placentals, marsupials, or monotremes) that nourish their young with milk secreted by mammary glands, have the skin usually more or less covered with hair, and include humans
mam·ma·li·an \mə-ˈmā-lē-ən, ma-\ adjective or noun

Examples of MAMMAL

  1. Human beings, dogs, and cats are all mammals.

Origin of MAMMAL

New Latin Mammalia, from Late Latin, neuter plural of mammalis of the breast, from Latin mamma breast
First Known Use: 1826

Other Mammals Terms

dormouse, dugong, gibbon, grimalkin, sable, stoat, ungulate, vole

mam·mal

noun \ˈmam-əl\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of MAMMAL

: any of the higher vertebrate animals comprising the class Mammalia
mam·ma·li·an \mə-ˈmā-lē-ən, ma-\ adjective or noun

mammal

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any member of the class (Mammalia) of warm-blooded vertebrates having four limbs (except for some aquatic species) and distinguished from other chordate classes by the female's milk-secreting glands and the presence of hair at some stage of development. Other unique characteristics include a jaw hinged directly to the skull, hearing through bones in the middle ear, a muscular diaphragm separating the pectoral and abdominal cavities, and nonnucleated mature red blood cells. Mammals range in size from tiny bats and shrews to the enormous blue whale. Monotremes (platypus and echidna) lay eggs; all other mammals bear live young. Marsupial newborns complete their development outside the womb, sometimes in a pouchlike structure. Placental mammals (see placenta) are born at a relatively advanced stage of development. The earliest mammals date from the late Triassic Period (which ended 206 million years ago); their immediate ancestors were the reptilian therapsids. For 70 million years mammals have been the dominant animals in terrestrial ecosystems, a consequence of two principal factors: the great behavioral adaptability provided by the ability of mammalian young to learn from their elders (a consequence of their dependence on their mothers for nourishment) and the physical adaptability to a wide range of climates and conditions provided by their warm-bloodedness. See also carnivore; cetacean; herbivore; insectivore; omnivore; primate; rodent.

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