Welcome to the Mammal Family Reunion!

Come meet your relatives. Find out who's come and gone over the past 220 million years.

What Makes a Mammal?

Even though it lives in the sea, the dolphin is a mammal – not a fish!

Pink fairy armadillo
The pink fairy armadillo has a tough scaly covering, like some reptiles. But all that hair is a clue: It's a mammal.

A mammal that lays eggs? Yes, the platypus is one of just two kinds of mammals that reproduce this way.

How Did Mammals Evolve?

Meet one of your oldest ancestors! Morganacudon lived 210 million years ago and was closely related to the first mammal.

Mammals that fly? Yes, bats took to the air about 50 million years ago. Today, they're the second largest group of mammals./p>

Yes, you're a mammal, too—one of the most recent, in fact. Humans evolved in Africa several million years ago.

Where Do Mammals Live?

African elephant
Largest mammal on land today, the African elephant uses its trunk to grasp leafy branches that few other savanna animals can reach.

Giant panda
Most bears eat meat. But the giant panda evolved to eat bamboo in China's snow-covered mountains.

Saber–toothed tiger
You won't find the saber– tooth cat anywhere on Earth today. It prowled North America until about 10,000 years ago, when the last Ice Age ended.

Did you know…

that mammals lived in the shadow of dinosaurs for over 150 million years? Learn more.

Smithsonian Insitution

Did you know?
that mammals lived in the shadow of the dinosaurs for over 150 million years? Learn more >>
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