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Taxonomy-Mammals of the Wasatch Front

Biologists have cataloged and organized life into different groups within a taxonomic system that reflects their evolutionary relationships.  The arrangement of groups, or taxa (singular taxon) forms a nested hierarchy of different ranks or categories.  The commonly used categories with hierarchy, from largest to smallest, are: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species

In practice, other intermediate or subdivided categories may be recognized (for example, suborder, superfamily, subspecies)


Mammals constitute the Class Mammalia within the Phylum Chordata of the Kingdom Animalia.  Mammals are grouped into several orders that are further subdivided into families.  Within families, genera are groupings of closely related species.  The scientific name of each species consists of a unique binomial which consists of the genus name (capitalized) and species name generally written in italics.  Within this system humans (Homo sapians) are arranged as:

Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Chordata

        Class: Mammalia

            Order: Primates

                Family: Hominidae

                    Genus: Homo

                         Species: sapiens

World-wide, there are more than 5,000 named species of living mammals.  Our list includes 72 species that are known from the Wasatch Front region.

Order Lagamorpha (hares, rabbits, and pikas)

Family Leporidae (rabbits and hares)

Family Ochotonidae (pikas)

Rodentia (rodents)

Family Castoridae (beavers)

Family Geomyidae (pocket gophers)

Family Heteromyidae (kangaroo rats and pocket mice)

Family Erethizontidae (New World porcupines)

Family Dipodidae (jumping mice, jerboas)

Family Cricetidae (New World rats and mice, hamsters)

Family Muridae (Old World mice and rats, gerbils)

Family Sciuridae (squirrels)

Order Soricomorpha (shrews and moles)

Family Soricidae (shrews)

Order Chiroptera (bats)

Family Molossidae (free-tailed bats)

Family Vespertilionidae (vesper bats or evening bats)

Carnivora (carnivores)

Family Felidae (cats)

Family Canidae (wolves, foxes, and dogs)

Family Ursidae (bears)

Family Mephitidae (skunks)

Family Mustelidae (weasels, martens, ferrets, badgers, otters, wolverines)

Family Procyonidae (raccoons)

Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates)

Family Bovidae (cattle and sheep)

Family Cervidae (deer)