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Meet your Relatives

Mammals are everywhere, from extreme environments like the frigid Arctic ice to the hottest desert. An amazing assortment of mammals swim, glide, burrow, run, hop, climb trees, or even fly. Despite the sometimes extreme differences among mammals, we all still have a few things in common--like three tiny bones in our middle ear.

When you look at the entire 200-million-year history of mammals--from the ones that ate dinosaurs to ones that weigh no more than a dollar bill--you're guaranteed to find surprises.

bat thumb


In 2005, scientists discovered a tiny bat in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. This bat, Anoura fistulata, has the longest tongue relative to body length of all the mammals.

Sugar Glider

Sugar Gliders

With built-in parachutes, sugar gliders--marsupials from Australia and New Guinea--can leap from a tree and glide, sometimes as far as half a football field!

Darwinius masillae

Darwinius masillae

See an exact cast of Darwinius masillae (nicknamed Ida), one of the most complete and beautifully preserved fossil primates ever found.

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The smallest mammal that ever lived could be sitting right on your shoulder and you would hardly know it.



The largest living land mammal is the African elephant. Indricotherium--a herbivore that lived in the forests of central Asia between 34 and 23 million years ago, weighed as much as three or four adult African elephants.



The unique nature of the curiously constructed platypus starts even before birth and marches on from there.



Think you know all about kangaroos? They have a pouch and get around by hopping. That's it, right? Think again.

American Museum of Natural History

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