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Mammals are hunted or raced for sport, and are used as model organisms in science.Mammals have been depicted in art since Palaeolithic times, and appear in literature, film, mythology, and religion.Defaunation of mammals is primarily driven by anthropogenic factors, such as poaching and habitat destruction, though there are efforts to combat this.Mammal classification has been through several iterations since Carl Linnaeus initially defined the class.With the exception of the five species of monotreme (egg-laying mammals), all modern mammals give birth to live young.Most mammals, including the six most species-rich orders, belong to the placental group.Mammals can organize themselves into fission-fusion societies, harems, and hierarchies, but can also be solitary and territorial.
The basic body type is a terrestrial quadruped, but some mammals are adapted for life at sea, in the air, in trees, underground or on two legs. "Crawl back to your forest, Emerald Swords," she said.Counter-clockwise from top left: Goemon; Moai Head; Shiori Fujisaki, and Saki Nijino; Twinbee; Takosuke, and Koitsu; Kewne; Ebisumaru; Madoka; Powerpro-kun; Alucard; Tir Mc Dohl; and Vic Viper. The largest orders are the rodents, bats and Soricomorpha (shrews and allies).The next three biggest orders, depending on the biological classification scheme used, are the Primates (apes and monkeys), the Cetartiodactyla (whales and even-toed ungulates), and the Carnivora (cats, dogs, seals, and allies).
While mammal classification at the family level has been relatively stable, several contending classifications regarding the higher levels—subclass, infraclass and order, especially of the marsupials—appear in contemporaneous literature.