The Three Types Of Mammals – Visual Guide

There are three types of mammals or groups of mammals that make up the main classification of these types of animals, believe it or not, including humans.

Mammals are vertebrate animals constituting the class Mammalia and characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in females produce milk for feeding their young, a neocortex, fur or hair, and three middle ear bones. 

Mammal – Wikipedia

The three types of mammals are the marsupials (pouched mammals), monotremes (egg-laying mammals) and placental mammals.

The Three Main Types of Mammals


Marsupials or pouched mammals are mammals of an order whose members are born incompletely developed and are typically carried and suckled in a pouch on the mother’s belly.

A koala sits on a tree branch. An example of one of the three types of mammals - marsupials.
Koala sits on a tree branch.

Marsupials are found mainly in Australia and New Guinea, although three families, including the opossums, live in America.

Kangaroo near a water source looking into a camera.
Kangaroo – a type of mammal of the marsupial group.

Well-known marsupials include kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, possums, opossums, wombats, and Tasmanian devils.

Fun facts about Marsupials – A type of mammal

Examples of Marsupials


Monotremes or egg-laying mammals are a group of mammals that form the order Monotremata

A person holds a platypus, an example of a monotreme, in their arms.
A platypus – example of a monotreme – a type of mammal

Monotremes are the only mammals that lay eggs, but they also feed their babies with milk. The word ‘monotreme‘ refers to their common rear opening, the cloaca.

Echidna – a monotreme

The platypus, the short-beaked echidna, and the three species of long-beaked echidna (Western, Eastern and Sir David Attenborough’s) are the only monotremes that still exist.

An introduction to monotremes – one of the 3 types of mammals


Humans crossing the street.
Placental Mammals

Placental mammal, (infraclass Eutheria), any member of the mammalian group characterized by the presence of a placenta, which facilitates the exchange of nutrients and wastes between the blood of the mother and that of the fetus. The placentals include all living mammals except marsupials and monotremes.
An introduction to placentals – the largest group of the different types of mammals.

Examples of Placentals

Bears, skunks, hedgehogs, dogs, cats, humans, are all examples of placental animals. Even whales, dolphins, in the ocean, and bats hiding out in caves, are placental.

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