Mammals are the most highly developed and progressive of all the creatures that inhabit the earth. The number of known living species, about 5500, but when you consider those that died – 20 thousand. According to several modern sistematicas the class combines 26-29 units. Representatives of the Mammalia spread everywhere.
The Most numerous orders of mammals are rodents. No joke, but now zoologists described 2277 species, and that more than half of all animals and pervozveri. Rodents have spread across the planet, except Antarctica and some Islands. Not only are they carriers of dangerous diseases and pests, but also a valuable source of furs, fish, and scientific research etc. Their role in ecosystems is ambiguous and multifaceted, while the knowledge of most people confined to “acquaintance” with domestic mice and rats.
Rodentia – is the Latin name of the most numerous orders of mammals, literally it means “to gnaw, chew”. The characteristic feature of all rodents is a pair of large incisors on the lower and upper jaws, and the diastema, i.e. the disproportionately large gap between them.
Rodents are large. The smallest are Mysovka - 5 cm long, the largest is the capybara (pictured below), to 130 cm, but usually about 50 cm While the tail is often much longer than the body. In some species, e.g., Guinea pigs, he is missing. The shape of the limbs and of the body depends on lifestyle and can be very different. From jumping forms (gerbils) are strongly developed hind legs. Burrowing species have Velikobritanii body shape and have claws on the front limbs (moles, shrews). The planner species (flying squirrel) has lateral skin fold.
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As already mentioned, a distinctive feature of the representatives of the most numerous group in the class of mammals – this is a pair of incisors on the lower and upper jaws. The incisors are constantly worn down and grow up, they do not have roots. In particular, beavers (in the photo below), the rate of growth reaches up to 0.8 mm per day. Canines are absent and the incisors from the molars separated by a distance – a diastema.
Most Often, the activity rodents showing night or dusk. They live in large groups to hundreds of individuals (naked mole rat), and alone. They have mastered all the living space, including the air.
The bulk of species of the most numerous orders of mammals – that of herbivorous animals. Depending on the time of year and habitat, they eat all parts of the plant: bark, leaves, stems, seeds, roots and fruits. Meet and omnivorous species (dormice, mouse, rat), in the diet consists of insects, worms, small vertebrates, bird eggs.
More than half of the mammal species on the planet – rodents. It is logical that they play a huge role in ecosystems. Rodents are an important food source for predators, the colony is constantly replenished due to rapid reproduction. Normal rats are ready to mate immediately after the birth of pups, the pregnancy lasts about 25 days.
Representatives of the most numerous orders of mammals is accompanied man since time immemorial, and therefore their importance in our lives quite differently:
In Russia in the Red book listed the following rodents: tarbagan, beaver, marmot, Manchurian Zokor, giant mole rat, yellow lemming. These species are endangered and endangered. This is due largely to human activities.
Sony (the fat Dormouse, the garden and the hazel or Maslovka), common flying squirrel (pictured), the common hamster and spotted suslik – rodents, listed in the red book of Belarus. The most numerous group of mammals in the Republic of Belarus is represented by 26 species, six of them need protection.
In the Ukraine the Red book includes: gopher (Podolsky, European and speckled), mole rat (Bukovina, Podolia, and the white sandy), great jerboa, esurancec ordinary, Mysovka (Strand, Prairie, dark forest), hamster (grey and common), voles (Tatra and snowy), common mole lemming, steppe lemming, Dormouse garden.
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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
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