What is a mammal

At first sight, this is not a difficult question. Every child is able to identify an animal as a mammal. Since its earliest age it can identify what is a cat, dog, rabbit, bear, fox, wolf, monkey, deer, mouse, or pig and soon experiences that with anyone who lacks such a knowledge there would be little chance to communicate about other things as well. To identify an animal as a mammal is indeed easy. But by which characteristics? The child would perhaps explain: Mammals are hairy four-legged animals with faces.

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