Q:

What is the life cycle of a mammal?

A:

Mammal life cycles vary based on the species, but mammalian life cycles share the same fundamental infancy, adolescent and adult stages. Mammals begin as an egg cell fertilized by a sperm cell. Mammalian young are born after an incubation period in a womb.

The mammalian life cycle begins when a male's sperm cell fertilizes a female's egg cell by mating. The length of the incubation period in the womb varies based on the species. The fetus develops and grows inside the womb for the entirety of the incubation period. Most mammals give birth to live young, as opposed to laying eggs. Like the incubation period, the length of each stage of the life cycle varies based on the species.

Newborn mammals continue to grow and develop once they are out of the womb. The mother nurses the newborn as it learns how to perform necessary functions for survival during the infancy stage. The infant is usually nourished and protected by its elders until it is an adult.

The adolescent stage of the mammalian life cycle involves the development of reproductive organs. In most mammal species, the adolescent stage involves sexual, mental and physical maturation.

Following the adolescent stage is adulthood. Mammals in the adult stage of the life cycle seek to reproduce and care for their young. Adults are independent but may reside in a pack or herd depending on species.

Adulthood is followed by old age and the eventual death of the mammal as it declines in health and physical strength.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What is the world's smallest mammal?

    A:

    By size, the world's smallest mammal is the bumblebee bat (Craseonycteris thonglongyai), a species native to Thailand. This species of bat is roughly the size of a bumblebee, with a body and head size of around 1 inch and a typical weight of about 0.7 ounces.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the life cycle of a zebra spider?

    A:

    A zebra spider goes through embryonic, larval, nymph and adult stages. A zebra spider begins in a fertilized egg sac, usually hidden underneath a rock. Upon hatching, the larva is too small to have any identifiable features. The nymph stage is the juvenile, or non-adult growing phase, and a zebra spider reaches adulthood within a year after undergoing five to 11 molts as a juvenile.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the gestation period of a zebra?

    A:

    The gestation period of a zebra varies based on the species of the animal in question, but most zebras give birth after at least 360 days. In some species, such as the Grevy's zebra, gestation lasts as long as 438 days.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a dingo's life cycle?

    A:

    The life cycle of a dingo starts in the spring months when the animal breeds. It is most common for dingoes to mate between March and June.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore