The Mammal's Den

Welcome to the
Mammal's Den!

This part of the Great Plains Nature Center website is adapted from the booklet
"A Pocket Guide to Common Kansas Mammals".

Use the text links or click on
a mammal in the navigation graphic to find out more about them!

What are Mammals?
Classification of Mammals
Recognizing Mammal Tracks

Background on the Booklet and how you can get one

Click here to download a pdf version!  PDF version available!


What are Mammals? Mammals are the animals most familiar to people. More than 400 mammal species are native to North America and 88 are found in Kansas. Mammals are the only animals that have hair and feed young with mother's milk. Other characteristics include being warm-blooded, having a backbone, jaws with teeth and a four-chambered heart. Although large mammals may be the most well known, the small and secretive species are the most abundant. 

How are Mammals classified? All mammals belong to the Class Mammalia. Within Kansas are found representatives of eight Orders: Didelphimorphia (opossums), Insectivora (shrews and moles), Chiroptera (bats), Xenartha (armadillos), Lagomorpha (rabbits, hares and pikas), Rodentia (rodents), Carnivora (carnivores) and Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates). 

A complete checklist of Kansas's mammals is found below. You may also download a pdf version by clicking on this icon Click here to download the list. (97K).   This checklist is revised and updated from "A Checklist of the Vertebrate Animals of Kansas" by George D. Potts, Joseph T. Collins and Kate Shaw, published by Kansas Biological Survey (1999). The common and scientific names used for each species are from the Revised Checklist of North American Mammals North of Mexico, 2003 by Baker et al., published by the Museum of Texas Tech University, Occasional Papers Number 229 (2003).

The Mammal's Den highlights 40 of the most visible and common species from this list.  Click on the links to learn more about them.

( * = Non-native   T = Threatened   E = Endangered   X = Extirpated from the wild )

Didelphimorphia (Opossums):
Family Didelphidae:
Virginia Opossum
Insectivora (shrews & moles):
Family Soricidae:
Prairie Shrew
Northern Short-tailed Shrew
Elliot's Short-tailed Shrew
Least Shrew
Family Talpidae (moles):
Eastern Mole
Chiroptera (bats):
Family Vespertilionidae:
Western Small-footed Myotis
Gray Myotis (E)
Little Brown Myotis
Northern Long-eared Myotis
Cave Myotis
Eastern Red Bat
Hoary Bat
Silver-haired Bat
Eastern Pipistrelle
Big Brown Bat
Evening Bat
Townsend's Big-eared Bat
Pallid Bat
Family Molossidae:
Brazilian Free-tailed Bat
Big Free-tailed Bat
Xenartha (armadillos):
Family Dasypodidae:
Nine-banded Armadillo
Lagomorpha (rabbits, hares & pikas):
Family Leporidae:
Swamp Rabbit
Desert Cottontail
Eastern Cottontail
Black-tailed Jackrabbit
White-tailed Jackrabbit
Rodentia (rodents):
Family Sciuridae
Eastern Chipmunk
Franklin's Ground Squirrel
Spotted Ground Squirrel
Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel
Black-tailed Prairie Dog
Eastern Gray Squirrel
Eastern Fox Squirrel
Southern Flying Squirrel
Family Geomyidae:
Plains Pocket Gopher
Yellow-faced Pocket Gopher
Family Heteromyidae:
Plains Pocket Mouse
Silky Pocket Mouse
Hispid Pocket Mouse
Ord's Kangaroo Rat
Family Castoridae:
American Beaver
Family Muridae:
Fulvous Harvest Mouse
Western Harvest Mouse
Plains Harvest Mouse
Texas Mouse
White-footed Mouse
Deer Mouse
Northern Grasshopper Mouse
Hispid Cotton Rat
Eastern Woodrat
Southern Plains Woodrat
Norway Rat *
Black Rat *
House Mouse *
Prairie Vole
Meadow Vole
Woodland Vole
Common Muskrat
Southern Bog Lemming
Family Zapodidae:
Meadow Jumping Mouse
Family Erethizontidae:
North American Porcupine
Carnivora (carnivores):
Family Canidae
Gray Wolf (X)
Swift Fox
Red Fox
Common Gray Fox
Family Ursidae:
American Black Bear (X)
Grizzly Bear (X)
Family Procyonidae:
Family Mustelidae:
Long-tailed Weasel
Black-footed Ferret (E)
Least Weasel
American Mink
American Badger
Northern River Otter
Family Mephitidae:
Eastern Spotted Skunk (T)
Striped Skunk
Family Felidae:
Mountain Lion (Puma)
Artiodactyla (Even-toed Ungulates):
Family Cervidae
Wapiti (Elk)
Mule Deer
White-tailed Deer
Moose (X)
Family Antilocapridae
Family Bovidae
American Bison (X)

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Go to Great Plains Nature Center Home page

Go to Flora and Fauna of the Great Plains

Go to the Mammals in Kansas page

Mammal's Den
Text: George Potts and Bob Gress
Design: Jim Mason

Questions or comments?  Send Email to Jim Mason Spidey
Or write us at: 
Great Plains Nature Center
6232 E. 29th Street North
Wichita, KS 67220-2200             Call:  316-683-5499            Fax:  316-688-9555