Ovrview of Mammals
Description of Mammals
Forty-sven species of mammals, encompassing fifteen mammal families,
have been identified as occurring in the general northwestern region of
Virginia (including Facquier County). While no systematic research has
been conducted in Sky Meadows State Park to identify mammals, all the
included species are known to inhabit the general vicinity, and anecdotal
reports and first-hand observations have been made concerning several
of the species (e.g., black bear and whitetailed deer). Some of the includ-
ed species may prove to not inhabitat Sky Meadows State Park (e.g., east-
ern woodrat, talkative red squirrel); they have nonetheless been included.
Further research is needed to more accurately identify mammal species.
Two primary sources of information were used for the mammal section.
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries provided the
"core" database for most species information as well as general entry
structure. In addition, Wikipedia entries for mammal families were used.
The information format employed by the Virginia Department of Game
and Inland Fisheries has been used for all mammal entires. Entires include:
CITATION: The common mammal name followed by the current scien-
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Three category status of confirmation -
not confirmed, pending confirmation, and confirmed. Not confirmed is
assigned to a species that is known to occur in the region, but has not
been observed in Sky Meadow Park. Pending confirmation is assigned
to a species that has been observed in Sky Meadows Park but still needs
identification by a recognized authority. Confirmed is assigned to a spe-
cies that has both been observed in Sky Meadows Park and has been iden-
tified by a recognized authority.
CHARACTERISTICS: General identiifying characteristics of each spe-
DISTRIBUTION: Includes information concerning not only natural
range of a species, but also typical habitats where species can often be
FOOD: Typical food eaten by each species.
Overview of Mammals
Mammals (formally Mammalia) are a class of vertebrate, air-breathing
animals. There are approximately 5,400 species of mammals, distributed
in about 1,200 genera, 153 families, and 29 orders (though this varies by classification scheme). Mammals range in size from the 30–40 millimeter
(1- to 1.5-inch) bumblebee bat to the 33-meter (108-foot) blue whale.
Description of Mammals
Mammal females are characterized by the possession of mammary
glands while both males and females are characterized by sweat glands,
hair and/or fur, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex
region in the brain.
Mammals are divided into three main infraclass taxa depending how they
are born. These taxa are: monotremes, marsupials and placentals. Except
for the five species of monotremes (which lay eggs), all mammal species
give birth to live young. Most mammals also possess specialized teeth,
and the largest group of mammals, the placentals, use a placenta during
gestation. The mammalian brain regulates endothermic and circulatory
systems, including a four-chambered heart.
Crooked Run Valley