Definition of mammal in English:

mammal

Line breaks: mam¦mal
Pronunciation: /ˈmam(ə)l
 
/

noun

  • A warm-blooded vertebrate animal of a class that is distinguished by the possession of hair or fur, females that secrete milk for the nourishment of the young, and (typically) the birth of live young.
    More example sentences
    • It provides the growing young with everything it wants, and only mammals produce milk.
    • The domestic animal is the first mammal known to die of the disease in Europe.
    • The male feeds the female while she incubates, catching small mammals and birds and bringing them back to the nest.

The first small mammals evolved from reptiles about 200 million years ago, and the group diversified rapidly after the extinction of the dinosaurs to become the dominant form of land animal, with around 4,000 living species. Mammals belong to the class Mammalia, which contains the subclass Prototheria (monotremes) and the infraclasses Metatheria (marsupials) and Eutheria (placental mammals such as rodents, cats, whales, bats, and humans)

Derivatives

mammalian

Pronunciation: /-ˈmeɪlɪən/
adjective
More example sentences
  • They use any kind of island for nesting, as long as mammalian predators are absent.
  • They are also preyed upon by mammalian predators such as cats, and by snakes such as boas and anacondas.
  • Because of their offensive odor, skunks are rarely preyed on by mammalian predators.

Origin

early 19th century: anglicized form (first used in the plural) of modern Latin mammalia, neuter plural of Latin mammalis (adjective), from mamma 'breast' (see mamma2).

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