Mammal Diversity

Evolution and function of mammal skulls

Where are the mammals?

Global mammal biogeography

North and Central America

This vast and diverse area spans tundra and boreal forests, temperate grasslands and deciduous forests, deserts, and tropical ecosystems. Major mountain chains cover both the west and east sides of North America, with plains in between, and deserts in the southwestern part of the continent. The western cordillera extends further south into Mexico and Central America. The most recent continental reconnections have been across the Bering Strait in the north and the Panamanian land bridge in the south. Overall mammal diversity is high, owing to the great variety of living communities found here as well as the historic connections of this region to both the north (toward Asia and even earlier to Europe) and to the south.

Mammal Orders found in North and Central America:

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