Mam*ma"li*a(?), n. pl. [NL., from L. mammalis. See Mammal.] (Zol.) The highest class of Vertebrata. The young are nourished for a time by milk, or an analogous fluid, secreted by the mammary glands of the mother.
Mammalia are divided into three subclasses; --
I. Placentalia. This subclass embraces all the higher orders, including man. In these the fetus is attached to the uterus by a placenta.
II. Marsupialia. In these no placenta is formed, and the young, which are born at an early state of development, are carried for a time attached to the teats, and usually protected by a marsupial pouch. The opossum, kangaroo, wombat, and koala are examples.
III. Monotremata. In this group, which includes the genera Echidna and Ornithorhynchus, the female lays large eggs resembling those of a bird or lizard, and the young, which are hatched like those of birds, are nourished by a watery secretion from the imperfectly developed mamm.
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Fri 14th December 2018