Mammalogy

Definition

noun

A branch of biology that is concerned with the study of mammals


Supplement

In biology, mammalogy is a branch of biology that is concerned with the study of mammals. Mammals are endothermic vertebrates of the class Mammalia. These organisms are characterized by the following features: a neocortex, three middle ear bones, a lower jaw made of a single bone, a hairy body covering, a thoracic diaphragm, a four-chambered heart, and females that are mostly viviparous. Examples of mammals include monotremes, marsupials (e.g. kangaroos) and placentals (e.g. primates, elephants, dolphins, cattle, etc.). At present, there are about 4,200 species of mammals.

Mammalogy is concerned primarily with the natural history, taxonomy, systematics, anatomy, physiology, ethology, and ecology of mammals. A person that specializes in this particular field is called a mammologist. Mammalogists carry out scientific studies on mammals.

Mammalogy may be further divided into disciplines based on taxonomy. For instance, primatology is the study of primates. Primates are the highest forms of mammalians. Humans, apes, and monkeys are all primates. Individuals that specialize in this field are called primatologists. Another sub-discipline of mammalogy is cetology, which is a science that studies whales, dolphins, and porpoises.


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