Mammals

ChimpanzeeThe first "mammals" to inhabit the earth appeared around 210 million years ago in the late Triassic, and it is thought that between then and modern times there have been at least 100 species of mammal for every 1 alive today. Mammals are characterized by some common features. Milk and mammary glands however are probably the best way to distinguish a modern mammal from other orders. All mammals, even the most primitive monotremes, have a substance with which to nourish their young, which we call milk.

The monotremes and marsupials are mammals typically found in Australasia. In the museum you can see a Flying Phalanger which can glide for more than 100 metres. Next in this group are the Cetaceans. Skulls and skeletons of key species, including the dolphin and the porpoise, are on display and see if you can work out what mammal the 'brush-like' specimen belongs to and how it is used. One of the largest displays in the museum features the Primates. Learn of the key adaptations that enabled the emergence of Man and how we may cause our own extinction.Buffalos

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