All animals with backbones, including humans, are chordates. That is, in the language of taxonomy, they belong to the phylum Chordata. Their subphylum is Vertebrata, meaning that their backbones are segmented. Mammals, members of the class Mammalia of vertebrate animals that includes humans, are the most highly advanced organisms on Earth. They are warm-blooded, hairy, have four-chambered hearts, relatively large brains, and they suckle their young.
There are 19 orders of mammals in the world. Ten of these live in North America. Some orders include a wide range of animals; for example, shrews, lemurs, marmosets, monkeys, apes, and humans are all primates, one order of the class of mammals. Other orders are made up of only one sort of creature; Order Chiroptera, or example, consists of 18 families of bats.
The Latin names of the orders of mammals given here are followed by their common names and the families that make up each order. Examples of the various types of animals included in each family also are given.
Order Artiodactyla (even-toed hoofed animals)
Order Carnivora (meat-eaters)
Order Cetacea (whales and purpoises)
Order Chiroptera (bats)
Order Dermoptera (colugos or flying lemurs)
Order Edentata (toothless mammals)
Order Hyracoidae (hyraxes, dassies)
Order Insectivora (insect-eaters)
Order Lagomorpha (pikas, hares, and rabbits)
Order Marsupialia (pouched animals)
Order Monotremata (egg-laying mammals)
Order Perissodactyla (odd-toed hoofed animals)
Order Pinnipedia (seals and walruses)
Order Primates (primates)
Order Proboscidea (elephants)
Order Rodentia (gnawing mammals)
Order Sirenia (dugongs and manatees)
Order Tubulidentata (aardvarks)
Another mammal in an order by itself is Family Orycteropodidae.