Mammal Scrabble


Within the boundaries of our state and in the offshore waters can be found a wide variety of mammal species. They range in size from the tiny shrew to an occasional giant whale. Each has its ecological niche to fill and very definite requirements for food and habitat. Since we are presently living in the Age of Mammals, an age which began more than 60 million years ago, you might be interested in learning more about them.

Jackrabbit

The word mammal comes from the Latin word mamma, which means “breast,” and is used to name the group of animals that produce milk for their newborn young. This milk, formed inside the mother, is removed by the young through mammary glands located on the mother’s body. The length of time the young require this milk varies from a few days to several months, depending upon the type of mammal.

All mammals are warm-blooded, air-breathing vertebrates (animals with backbones), but there are two characteristics that separate them from other warm-blooded, air-breathing vertebrates (animals with backbones), but there are two characteristics that separate them from other warm-blooded, air-breathing vertebrates that are not mammals. The first characteristic, as mentioned before, is the female’s ability to produce milk to feed her young. The second characteristic is the presence of true hair.

Javelina

Hair makes it possible for mammals to live in almost any climate. It insulates their bodies from the cold and protects their tender skin from the sun’s rays. Not all hair is alike. It can be long, short, thick, thin, bristly, velvety, woolly, coarse, or soft; but whatever the texture, all mammals have it, even whales.

Scientists believe the first primitive mammals evolved from mammal-like reptiles about 180 million years ago during the Age of Reptiles. While many forms of reptiles, including the dinosaurs, were on their way to extinction, the kinds and numbers of mammals were increasing. The Age of Reptiles gradually became the Age of Mammals as mammals became the dominant animals on earth.

Ringtail

Scientists believe the first primitive mammals evolved from mammal-like reptiles about 180 million years ago during the Age of Reptiles. While many forms of reptiles, including the dinosaurs, were on their way to extinction, the kinds and numbers of mammals were increasing. The Age of Reptiles gradually became the Age of Mammals as mammals became the dominant animals on earth.

See how many of the forty-four mammals in the first list you can put in the proper squares in the first puzzle. The list for the second puzzle includes some animals that are not mammals. After you have worked the second puzzle using the words in its list, see if you can identify which ones are mammals. The answers to both puzzles are on the answer page.

Download Mammal Scrabble Puzzle 1 media download(PDF 136.6 KB)
Mammal Scrabble Puzzle 1
Download Mammal Scrabble Puzzle 2 media download(PDF 150.3 KB)
Mammal Scrabble Puzzle 2

Additional Information:

Ilo Hiller
1983 Mammal Scrabble. Young Naturalist. The Louise Lindsey Merrick Texas Environment Series, No. 6, pp. 67-70. Texas A&M University Press, College Station.

Back to Top
Back to Top