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Mammals come in a bewildering variety of shapes and sizes, and yet all species have some characteristics in common. These similarities justify the inclusion of all such diverse types within the single taxonomic group (or class) called the Mammalia. This free course, Introducing mammals, offers a starting point for the study of mammals. It will establish their rich diversity, while highlighting the common features that define the group.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- explain the distinctive biological features of monotremes
- distinguish contrasting modes of reproduction in monotremes, marsupials and placental mammals
- describe the cellular basis of lactation and explain the benefits of an early diet of milk
- explain the significance of mammalian metabolic rate
- explain how and why the thermogenic response differs among species.
First Published: 15/10/2019
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- Learning outcomes
- 1 Defining mammals
- 2 Mammalian diversity
- 3 The monotremes
- 4 Reproduction in marsupials
- 5 Milk production (lactation)
- 6 Metabolism and body temperature
- 7 Thermoregulation and mammalian fur
- 8 What’s special about placental mammals?
- 9 Studying mammals: a case study – platypus burrows
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About this free course
5 hours study
Level 1: Introductory
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