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The skin of mammals consists of two layers, the first is called the dermis. This contains the blood vessels, glands and nerve endings. the top layer is called the epidermis and consists of dead cells. Mammals have a number of unique glands that other groups of animals do not. In addition to mammary glands (which they feed the young), they have scent glands, with which many mammals secrete substances to communicate, for example to recognize other animals or to indicate their territory, and sweat glands that help regulate body temperature.

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The word mammal comes from the fact that the mother animal feeds her young with milk that she produces herself.

There are a number of points where you can recognize mammals (Mammalia):

  • They have a skeleton. These are the bones that give the body strength.
  • They breathe through their lungs
  • Most species are viviparous, meaning that the young are born from the mother's belly (just like in humans), but there are also species that lay eggs, such as the Platypus.
  • They are always warm-blooded. This means that their body temperature has a constant value that is independent of the temperature around them.
  • Almost all species have fur. This means that the skin is completely or partly covered with hairs. Hair has a number of important functions, such as retaining or losing body heat, camouflage, impressing competition and protecting the skin.

rabbits Mother with babies


Mammals are therefore the only animal species that have sweat glands, but some species have more than others and not all species can make optimal use of them. Rabbits and rodents, for example, can only sweat to a very limited extent via the sweat glands that are located under the soles of their feet and cannot cool down sufficiently via this route. A large part of our pets are mammals, including rabbits and rodents.

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