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aardvark a large mammal with a long snout, long ears, a long tail, and almost no hair. Aardvarks are active at night, when they use their powerful claws to dig open ant or termite nests. They catch their food with long, sticky tongues. Aardvarks live in southern and central Africa. Although they are sometimes called anteaters, aardvarks are not closely related to any other kind of mammal.
anteater a mammal that uses its long, sticky tongue to eat ants and termites. True anteaters have no teeth, are furry, and live in Central or South America. They are related to armadillos and sloths. Other kinds of mammals that eat ants are also sometimes called anteaters, but they are not related to American anteaters.
ape a mammal in the group of primates, which includes chimpanzees, gibbons, gorillas, and orangutans. Apes do not have tails. They have very flexible hands and feet. Apes range in size from three to six feet tall, and they can weigh up to 450 pounds. Apes live in the forests in Africa and Asia. [1/2 definitions]
armadillo a mammal whose body is protected by hard, bony plates. Armadillos live in Central and South America, and the southern United States. Some kinds of armadillos are only six inches long; other kinds grow up to four feet in length. They eat mostly insects and are related to sloths and anteaters.
ass a mammal with long legs and hooves that is closely related to the horse. A donkey is a domestic ass. Asses look like horses but are smaller and have longer ears. Wild asses live in Africa and Asia and are in danger of becoming extinct. [1/2 definitions]
badger a furry mammal with short legs and a long body. The American badger has a white stripe on its forehead that runs down its back, and it has long dark marks on its face also. Badgers eat worms, rodents, rabbits, and plants. Different kinds of badgers live in Europe, Asia, and North America. They are related to skunks, otters, and other kinds of weasels. [1/2 definitions]
bat2 a small mammal that flies. Bats have small bodies and large wings covered with skin. Most bats eat at night, when they use sound to find and catch flying insects. Bats are found in most parts of the world. There are around one thousand kinds of bats. Their wingspans range from less than two inches to more than five feet. Some kinds of bats live in large colonies that roost in caves or in a section of forest.
bear2 a large furry mammal with a short tail. Bears are omnivorous; they may eat plants, honey, insects, fish, and small mammals. There are several kinds of bears, including black bears, brown bears, grizzly bears, and polar bears.
beast any animal other than a human, especially a mammal with four legs. [1/2 definitions]
bison a very large mammal with a large head, humped shoulders, and short curved horns. Bison used to roam the plains of North America in large herds, but they were hunted until they were almost extinct. North American bison are also called buffalo, but they are not related to the true buffalo of Africa and Asia. Bison have hooves and are closely related to cattle. Bison eat only plants and chew their cud. [1/2 definitions]
blue whale a mammal that lives in the ocean. Blue whales are the largest kind of animal that has ever lived. They can grow up to 100 feet long and weigh up to 150 tons. Their large mouths have baleen instead of teeth. Blue whales use baleen to filter lots of very small food such as shrimp from ocean water.
buffalo a large mammal that has long legs, hooves, and horns, and that is closely related to cattle. Different kinds of buffaloes live in Africa or Asia. The North American bison is sometimes called a buffalo, but is not a true buffalo.
cat1 a small, furry mammal with whiskers, short ears, and a long tail. Cats, also called house cats, are often kept as pets or to catch mice and rats. [1/2 definitions]
cetacean a kind of mammal that lives in the water and has front limbs that look like paddles and back limbs that do not show. Whales, porpoises, and dolphins are all cetaceans.
chimpanzee a mammal that lives in African rain forests. Chimpanzees are in the group of primate mammals called apes. They are related to, but smaller than, gorillas. Chimpanzees are very intelligent and sometimes use tools to get food.
chinchilla a small mammal from the mountains of South America. Chinchillas are rodents closely related to guinea pigs. They have very soft fur and live in tunnels called burrows. Sometimes they are kept as pets.
coyote a North American mammal that is closely related to dogs, foxes, and wolves. Coyotes have a pointed nose and ears and a bushy tail. They hunt small animals, and they also sometimes eat plants.
deer a mammal with short fur, long legs, and a long neck. Deer have hooves on their feet and can run very fast. The males of most kinds of deer grow and shed antlers every year. Deer are herbivores that chew their cud. Caribou, elk, moose, reindeer, and white-tailed deer are all kinds of deer.
dolphin a mammal that lives in the water. Dolphins look like large fish but they breathe air. They have teeth and a snout that looks like a beak. Most kinds of dolphins live in the ocean. A few kinds live in large rivers in Asia and South America. Dolphins are closely related to porpoises and other toothed whales.
donkey a mammal with hooves that is closely related to the horse. Donkeys are smaller than horses and have longer ears. They are sturdy animals used for riding and carrying loads.
dormouse a small mammal that sleeps during the day. Dormice are rodents that live in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Many kinds of dormice look like small squirrels.