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There have only been about a half dozen genuinely important events in the four-billion-year saga of life on Earth: single-celled life, multicelled life, differentiation into plants and animals, movement of animals from water to land, and the advent of mammals and consciousness.
Dolphins are social mammals, capable of enjoying their lives. They form close bonds with other members of their group.
We have chosen to bring future generations into this world of rising seas and warming temperatures, droughts and floods, heat waves and wildfires, a world in which one in four mammals and one in eight birds are at risk of disappearing forever. While the damage we've done is irreversible, that doesn't give us the right to do nothing.
Most of our ancestors were not perfect ladies and gentlemen. The majority of them weren't even mammals.
Robert Anton Wilson
It's very likely that most mammals have consciousness, and probably birds, too.
Dinosaurs are built just like birds - they can squat down, they can get up. Mammals, when we lay down, we throw our legs out to the sides - birds cannot do that. Dinosaurs could not do that either.
The difference between humans and other mammals is that we know how to accessorize.
The whole reason people fill their homes with furry carnivores and not with, say, iguanas and turtles, is because mammals offer something no reptile ever will. They give affection, they want affection, and respond to our emotions the way we do to theirs.
Frans de Waal
We already live a very long time for mammals, getting three times as many heartbeats as a mouse or elephant. It never seems enough though, does it?
The industrial way we fish for seafood is harming the marine habitats that all ocean life depends upon. Indiscriminate commercial fishing practices that include miles of driftnets, long lines with thousands of lethal hooks and bottom trawls are ruining ocean ecosystems by killing non-seafood species, including sea turtles and marine mammals.
Dogs are the only mammals that will actually stare and look into a human's eyes.
I've become sort of an accidental advocate for attachment parenting, which is a style of parenting that... basically, the way mammals parent and the way people have parented for pretty much all of human history except the last 200 years or so.
For nearly 2 million years, our ancestors survived and thrived and spread across the planet because they could run other mammals into heat exhaustion.
We may have charted all the continents on the planet, and we may have discovered all the mammals, but that doesn't mean that there's nothing left to explore on Earth.
There are good reasons why natural selection has become widely accepted as an explanation of evolutionary development. When applied to mammals and other large animals, it fits perfectly. But we cannot assume that all evolutionary steps arise from selection, particularly when looking at smaller animals.
John Tyler Bonner
Mammals are sentient beings that want to live and are afraid to die. Evolution vouchsafed us all with an instinct to survive, reproduce and flourish.
All mammals undergo a certain degree of diversification. Darwin knew that. When he drew a family tree, it had many branches on it.
Compared with mammals, birds have relatively large eyes. In simple terms, a bigger eye means better vision, and excellent vision is essential for avoiding collisions in flight, or for capturing fast-moving or camouflaged prey. Birds' eyes, however, are deceptive - they are bigger than they look.
The urgency to mate persists in all people as in all other mammals because of the evolutionary drive to continue the species, the inborn imperative for genes to reproduce and hormonal differences that evolved over millions of years.
Perhaps the most mysterious of all mammals is the male Homo sapiens. Indeed, many anthropologists classify the group as a subspecies.
When I visit my brother in South Africa, I order things I've only seen in zoos. Little deers and kudu, all the mammals you would never think of eating.
What the Kinseyites and I had in common so long ago was the knowledge that homosexual and heterosexual behavior are natural to all mammals, and that what differs from individual to individual is the balance between these two complementary but not necessarily conflicted drives.
We know virtually all of the genes known to mammals. We do not know all of the combinations.
Mammals are very close to us, but bugs are strange. They're more mysterious and exotic.
Geologists are rapidly becoming convinced that the mammals spread from their central Asian point of origin largely because of great variations in climate.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Leonardo da Vinci
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