Magnificent Mammals

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

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.

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.

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.

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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