Mammals are a class of vertebrate animals defined by the presence the neocortex (part of the brain), hair, 3 specific ear bones, and nursing young. Included in their ranks are humans, cats, dogs, bears, lions, and many others. Mammals include the largest animals on earth, and can be found living underground, in the air, underwater and in the trees. Typically mammals are quadropeds, meaning they have four legs.



Canis latrans

Coyotes are found all over North America and are close relatives to the Gray Wolf and Red Wolf. Unlike their wolf cousins coyotes are relatively small. They are monomagamous and crepuscular, meaning that they are most active during twilight and at the beginning of the night than during the day. Coyotes are often thought to be untrustworthy, evil animals and are frequently hunted as pests. Despite their negative reputation, they play an important (and often misunderstood) role in our ecosystem


Audobon Cottontail

Sylvilagus audobonii

Also known as the "Desert Cottontail", this rabbit is found throughout the Eastern US as well as Northern Mexico. Though it is smaller than European Rabbits, this species has much larger ears and is much more social. It can run up to 20mph - unfortunately, almost every carnivorous thing faster than it is its predator. Because of the hot climates it lives in, the cottontail is usually only active during the morning and evening. It mainly eats grass and rarely needs to drink due to the high moisture content of its diet.


California Ground Squirrel

Spermophilus beecheyi

This squirrel can be found all over western North America and eats whatever is available. It lives underground in burrows and will hibernate if it gets cold enough. This species has developed a very interesting trait - in places where rattlesnake predation is common, populations of this squirrel have been found to have high resistance levels to rattlesnake venom. They are also known to swish their tails around, which is a sign to predators that they will be too difficult to catch to be worth hunting.


Botta's Pocket Gopher

Thomomys bottae

A horrible critter that is hanging out in my backyard as i type, chomping on all of my delicate little plants. These animals will have 3 litters a year and can have burrows of up to 200 feet long. However, despite their more frustrating traits, these animals have a very positive impact on soil quality. By burrowing through hard packed soils and moving minerals around, the gophers aerate and enrich the soils they inhabit.