The Path to a Better America Essay

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St. John the Baptist

Brandon Gasparre April 8, 2013

Science Grade 8

Mammals

Mammals like other organisms are important in maintaining a balance in the environment. About 65 million years ago, dinosaurs and many other organisms became extinct. More than 4,000 species of mammals have evolved from animals similar to the one called the Divinia which lived about 200 million years ago. Mammals are now classified into 3 groups based on how their young develop. The 3 mammal groups are called monotremes, marsupials, and placentals. Mammals and other animals today are in trouble because their habitats are being destroyed for shopping centers, recreational areas, housing, and highways. Now mammals are left without food, shelter, and space to survive.

Dolphins are marine mammals closely related to whales and porpoises. They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves and are carnivores that mostly eat fish and squid. Dolphins are among the most intelligent animals and their friendly appearance “an artifact of the "smile" of their mouth line”, and have a playful attitude which has made them very popular in the human culture.

Cheetahs are the world's fastest land mammal in the world. It has an acceleration that would leave most automobiles in the dust because a cheetah can go from 0 to 60 miles an hour in only three seconds. This big cat is a daylight hunter that benefits from quick movement and a camouflage spotted coat that allows it to blend easily into high, dry grasses. When the moment is right a cheetah will sprint after its quarry and attempt to knock it down. Cheetahs need only drink once every three to four days. Female cheetahs typically have a litter of three cubs and live with them for one and a half to two years. Young cubs spend their first year learning from their mother and practicing hunting techniques with playful games. Male cheetahs live alone or in small groups usually with their littermates. Most wild cheetahs are found in eastern and southwestern Africa. Today only 7,000 to 10,000 of these big cats remain and those that are under pressure as the wide-open grasslands they favor are being destroyed at the hands of human hunters.

Penguins are mostly known to live in Antarctica but they actually live beyond Antarctica, and can be found in New Zealand, southern Africa, and…