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Additional resources for Grzimek's Student Animal Life Resource. Mammals
Many human habits lead to endangerment. Hunting for amusement, killing for fur or body parts, native and commercial killing for food, fishing gear entrapment, land-destructive wars, and the illegal pet trade all take their toll. So do chemicals. Some mammals are probably on the way to extinction, or total elimination. There are only about sixty Java rhinoceros left in the world. The Seychelles sheath-tailed bat has only about fifty individuals remaining. Yellow-tailed woolly monkeys number no more than 250 individuals.
The monotreme eggshell is soft and leathery, and porous enough to soak up nutrients secreted into the oviduct from the mother’s circulatory system. The embryo begins its development before the egg is laid. When the mother lays her egg, the embryo has already developed to about the same degree as a newborn marsupial. 6 inches (13 to 15 millimeters) in diameter, or the size of a grape. After about ten days of the egg’s incubation, the young hatches by tearing at the shell by means of a temporary egg tooth on its snout.
Monotremes 3 Female echidnas and platypus may lay up to three eggs at a time, but one is normal, and monotreme females usually bear and raise only one young per year. Females do all the raising of the young. Except during the mating season, individual platypus and echidnas of both sexes lead solitary lives. A platypus mother incubates her eggs by curling her tail and holding the eggs between the tail and her warm underbelly. She incubates and nurses her young in a “birth chamber” burrow, which she digs and lines with moist leaves and water plants to maintain humidity.