Magnificent Mammals

In honor of #jmgwildlife month, we wanted to feature some concepts from the Wildlife Gardener curricula…mammals!

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There are more than 4,000 species of mammals, but whether they live on land or in the water, all these mammals share some common characteristics.

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Mammal Characteristics

  • All mammals are warm blooded.

  • Most young are born alive.

  • They have hair or fur on their bodies.

  • Every mammal is a vertebrate.

  • All mammals have lungs to breathe air.

  • Mammals feed milk to their babies.

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Lungs are essential to breathing.  Mammals typically have 2 lungs.  The lungs primary function is to transport oxygen from the atmosphere into the blood stream, and then to release carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.  The diaphragm, which is a dome-shaped muscle separating the thorax from the abdomen, plays a major role in breathing.  As the diaphragm contracts, the lungs are able to inflate.

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Watch the video below for steps on constructing a model of a fake “balloon” lung.  This model shows the diaphragm in action. 


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