A legacy to maintain and a success-story worth telling

Mammals—who now face the wrath of a harrowing man-made 6th mass extinction that looms large on us all—were the ones who came out victorious from the 5th mass extinction, which abruptly dethroned the all-dominating Dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

The fact that mammals can be as light as 2 grams or 0.07 ounces (Bumblebee bats) to as heavy as 160,000kgs or 160 tonnes (Blue whales) beautifully captures their success story on this lush planet. The power to adapt or evolve with the changing environment has helped them to survive for millions of years. They are often called the most advanced vertebrates.

Some mammals fly, some swim, some climb, and some walk but one thing mammals don’t do is creep. If you meet an animal who has hair or fur (except whales) and breastfeeds its young ones (even whales!), it’s a mammal.

Three major mammalian lineages live on Earth, differing in their reproduction method: Prototheria is the oldest – they lay eggs and keep them warm as reptiles do. Marsupials give birth to undeveloped young after a short pregnancy, raising them in pouches. Finally, placentals mothers nourish their young inside their bodies. After a long pregnancy, the young are born developed, sometimes even independent.