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List of mammals of the United States facts for kids

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About 490 species of mammals are recorded in the United States. This list is probably incomplete. Unincorporated territories like for example Puerto Rico, Guam or Northern Mariana Islands are not covered. Mammals introduced and extinct in the Holocene except Pleistocene/Holocene boundary are included.

According to the IUCN Red List 3 of these species are critically endangered, 20 endangered, 15 vulnerable, 20 near threatened and 4 extinct.

Some species are identified as indicated below:

  • (A) - Accidental
  • (E) - Extinct
  • (Ex) - Extirpated (extinct in the US, but exists elsewhere in the world)
  • (I) - Introduced

The following tags are used to highlight each species' conservation status as assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature:

EX Extinct No reasonable doubt that the last individual has died.
EW Extinct in the wild Known only to survive in captivity or as a naturalized population well outside its previous range.
CR Critically endangered The species is in imminent risk of extinction in the wild.
EN Endangered The species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
VU Vulnerable The species is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
NT Near threatened The species does not meet any of the criteria that would categorize it as risking extinction but it is likely to do so in the future.
LC Least concern There are no current identifiable risks to the species.
DD Data deficient There is inadequate information to make an assessment of the risks to this species.

(v. 2013.2, the data are current as of March 5, 2014)

and the Endangered Species Act:

E Endangered
T Threatened
XN, XE eXperimental Nonessential or Essential population
E(S/A), T(S/A) Endangered or Threatened due to Similarity of Appearance

(the data are current as of March 28, 2014)

Subclass: Theria

Infraclass: Metatheria

Order: Didelphimorphia (common opossums)

Didelphimorphia is the order of common opossums of the Western Hemisphere. Opossums probably diverged from the basic South American marsupials in the late Cretaceous or early Paleocene. They are small to medium-sized marsupials, about the size of a large house cat, with a long snout and prehensile tail.

Infraclass: Eutheria

Order: Cingulata (armadillos)

The armadillos are small mammals with a bony armored shell. They are native to the Americas. There are around 20 extant species. Only the nine-banded armadillo is found in the United States.

Order: Rodentia (rodents)

Castor canadensis1
American beaver
Thomomys talpoides
Northern pocket gopher
White-footed mouse
Sigmodon hispidus1
Hispid cotton rat

Rodents make up the largest order of mammals, with over 40% of mammalian species. They have two incisors in the upper and lower jaw which grow continually and must be kept short by gnawing. Most rodents are small though the capybara can weigh up to 45 kg (99 lb).

Order: Lagomorpha (lagomorphs)

The lagomorphs comprise two families, Leporidae (hares and rabbits), and Ochotonidae (pikas). Though they can resemble rodents, and were classified as a superfamily in that order until the early 20th century, they have since been considered a separate order. They differ from rodents in a number of physical characteristics, such as having four incisors in the upper jaw rather than two.

Order: Eulipotyphla (shrews, hedgehogs, moles, and solenodons)

Smoky shrew

Eulipotyphlans are insectivorous mammals. Shrews and solenodons closely resemble mice, hedgehogs carry spines, while moles are stout-bodied burrowers.

  • Family: Soricidae (shrews)
    • Subfamily: Soricinae
      • Tribe: Blarinini
      • Tribe: Notiosoricini
        • Cockrum's gray shrew, Notiosorex cockrumi LC
        • Crawford's gray shrew, Notiosorex crawfordi LC and:
          • Ticul's gray shrew, Notiosorex tataticuli
      • Tribe: Soricini
        • Glacier Bay water shrew, Sorex alaskanus (Alaska only) DD
        • Arctic shrew, Sorex arcticus LC
        • Arizona shrew, Sorex arizonae LC
        • Baird's shrew, Sorex bairdi LC
        • Marsh shrew, Sorex bendirii LC
        • Cinereus shrew, Sorex cinereus LC and:
          • Maryland shrew, Sorex cinereus fontinalis
        • Long-tailed shrew, Sorex dispar LC and:
          • Gaspé shrew, Sorex gaspensis
        • Smoky shrew, Sorex fumeus LC
        • Prairie shrew, Sorex haydeni LC
        • American pygmy shrew, Sorex hoyi LC and:
          • Western pygmy shrew, Sorex eximius
        • Pribilof Island shrew, Sorex pribilofensis (Alaska only) EN
        • Saint Lawrence Island shrew, Sorex jacksoni (Alaska only) LC
        • Southeastern shrew, Sorex longirostris LC
        • Mount Lyell shrew, Sorex lyelli LC
        • Merriam's shrew, Sorex merriami LC
        • Southern montane shrew, Sorex monticolus LC and:
          • Northern montane shrew, Sorex obscurus
        • Dwarf shrew, Sorex nanus LC
        • New Mexico shrew, Sorex neomexicanus DD
        • Ornate shrew, Sorex ornatus LC (ssp. relictus: E)
        • Pacific shrew, Sorex pacificus LC
        • American water shrew, Sorex palustris LC and:
          • Eastern water shrew, Sorex albibarbis
          • Western water shrew, Sorex navigator
        • Preble's shrew, Sorex preblei LC
        • Olympic shrew, Sorex rohweri LC (formerly in Sorex cinereus)
        • Fog shrew, Sorex sonomae LC
        • Inyo shrew, Sorex tenellus LC
        • Trowbridge's shrew, Sorex trowbridgii LC
        • Tundra shrew, Sorex tundrensis (Alaska only) LC
        • Barren ground shrew, Sorex ugyunak (Alaska only) LC
        • Vagrant shrew, Sorex vagrans LC
        • Alaska tiny shrew, Sorex yukonicus (Alaska only) LC
  • Family: Talpidae (moles)
    • Subfamily: Scalopinae
      • Tribe: Condylurini
      • Tribe: Scalopini
        • Hairy-tailed mole, Parascalops breweri LC
        • Eastern mole, Scalopus aquaticus LC
        • Broad-footed mole, Scapanus latimanus LC
        • Coast mole, Scapanus orarius LC
        • Townsend's mole, Scapanus townsendii LC
    • Subfamily: Talpinae
      • Tribe: Neurotrichini
        • Shrew-mole, Neurotrichus gibbsii LC

Order: Chiroptera (bats)

Myotis leibii
Eastern small-footed bat

The bats' most distinguishing feature is that their forelimbs are developed as wings, making them the only mammals capable of flight. Bat species account for about 20% of all mammals.

Order: Carnivora (carnivorans)

Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) DSC 0030
Striped skunk

There are over 260 species of carnivorans, the majority of which feed primarily on meat. They have a characteristic skull shape and dentition.

Order: Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates)

The even-toed ungulates are ungulates whose weight is borne about equally by the third and fourth toes, rather than mostly or entirely by the third as in perissodactyls. There are about 220 artiodactyl species, including many that are of great economic importance to humans.

Order: Sirenia (manatees and dugongs)

Sirenia is an order of fully aquatic, herbivorous mammals that inhabit rivers, estuaries, coastal marine waters, swamps, and marine wetlands.

Order: Cetacea (whales)

Kogia breviceps
Pygmy sperm whale
Tursiops truncatus 01-cropped
Common bottlenose dolphin
White beaked dolphin
White-beaked dolphin

The order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. They are the mammals most fully adapted to aquatic life with a spindle-shaped nearly hairless body, protected by a thick layer of blubber, and forelimbs and tail modified to provide propulsion underwater.

  • Suborder: Mysticeti
  • Suborder: Odontoceti
    • Superfamily: Platanistoidea
      • Family: Monodontidae
        • Beluga, Delphinapterus leucas NT E (Cook Inlet subpopulation: CR)
        • Narwhal, Monodon monoceros (Alaska only) NT
      • Family: Phocoenidae
        • Harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena LC
        • Dall's porpoise, Phocoenoides dalli LC
      • Family: Physeteridae
      • Family: Kogiidae
        • Pygmy sperm whale, Kogia breviceps DD
        • Dwarf sperm whale, Kogia sima (Hawaiian Islands only) DD
      • Family: Ziphiidae
        • Subfamily: Ziphiinae
        • Subfamily: Berardiinae
          • Baird's beaked whale, Berardius bairdii DD (collective name for two species - Baird's beaked whale and Arnoux's beaked whale)
        • Subfamily: Hyperoodontinae
          • Northern bottlenose whale, Hyperoodon ampullatus DD
          • Tropical bottlenose whale, Indopacetus pacificus (Hawaiian Islands only) DD
          • Sowerby's beaked whale, Mesoplodon bidens DD
          • Hubbs' beaked whale, Mesoplodon carlhubbsi DD
          • Blainville's beaked whale, Mesoplodon densirostris DD
          • Gervais' beaked whale, Mesoplodon europaeus DD
          • Ginkgo-toothed beaked whale, Mesoplodon ginkgodens DD
          • Hector's beaked whale, Mesoplodon hectori (A) DD
          • True's beaked whale, Mesoplodon mirus DD
          • Perrin's beaked whale, Mesoplodon perrini DD
          • Pygmy beaked whale, Mesoplodon peruvianus (A) DD
          • Stejneger's beaked whale, Mesoplodon stejnegeri DD
      • Family: Delphinidae (marine dolphins)

Introduced animals

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