WHAT IS A MAMMAL?
There are several key characteristics that together distinguish mammals from other animals. Mammals are vertebrate animals (meaning they have backbones), whose bodies are insulated by hair, who are endothermic (or “warm blooded”) meaning they can regulate their body temperature, and who nurse infants with milk from mammary glands.
Mammals are remarkably diverse and range from the tiny Kitti’s hog-nosed bat weighing 1.5 grams (.05 oz.) to the blue whale weighing in at up to 136,000 kg (300,000 lb.).
There are more than 4,000 species of mammals across the globe. Their adaptations to their environment are unique and they inhabit every continent and every ocean in the world.
To learn more about the mammal species on exhibit here at the zoo, please choose from the Animal Fact Sheets dropdown menu in the left column.