Class Mammalia – Mammals

There are around 66 resident wild mammal species in the UK and around its coasts, with a number of feral domesticated and occasional visitors. As humans, we are also mammals, and share the same common characterstics as all other mammals. We are warm-blooded, hairy, have specialised teeth and auditary bones. We are air-breathing and possess mammary glands and most of us have sweat glands. Mammals give birth to more or less fully developed young which are nurtured by their mother by being fed highly nutricious milk produced by the mammary glands, which is where the name of this class comes from.

Mammals are extremely diverse and have conquered all of the planet. They live in the tree tops as primates, or in burrows in the ground as rodents, and also live in water like the whales and dolphins. Some even have taken to the air in the form of bats. Mammals come in all shapes and sizes, from very large such as elephants, to very small like mice. Some only eat meat and are the carnivores, where others only eat plant matter and are the herbivores. Others, like ourselves, are omnivores and can survive on all manner of other life forms, from animals, insects and all kinds of invertebrates, plants, trees, and fungi. As a group we have outlived the dinosaurs which were swept aside and completely decimated during the Permian-Triassic extinction event which occured some 241 million years ago.

Badger Meles meles
Meles meles
European Mole Talpa europaea molehill
Talpa europaea
House Mouse Mus musculus
House Mouse
Mus musculus
Kashmiri Goats, Great Orme
Kashmiri Goat
Red Fox Vulpes vulpes
Red Fox
Vulpes vulpes
Bank Vole Myodes glareolus
Bank Vole
Myodes glareolus
Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus)
Brown Rat
Rattus norvegicus
Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus
Oryctolagus cuniculus
Field Vole Microtus agrestis
Field Vole
Microtus agrestis
Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)
Grey Squirrel
Sciurus carolinensis