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Mammals are an extremely diverse class of animals, ranging from bats, squirrels and rabbits to bobcats, dolphins and humans.

All mammals are warm-blooded vertebrates that give birth to and nurse live young; have highly evolved skeletons; are covered with hair at some point in their lives; and generally have two pairs of limbs (although some aquatic mammals have evolved without hind limbs).

Many different types of mammals live in or visit the Chesapeake Bay region. Some live either on land or in the water, while others spend time in both environments.

Click on the images below to learn about some of the mammals that live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

The Chesapeake Bay is home to several mammals that spend their entire lives in the water. Aquatic mammals include dolphins and the occasional wayward manatee.

Some mammals divide their time between land and water. These semi-aquatic species include beavers, muskrats and river otters.

Mammals that live on the land include deer, squirrels, rabbits and foxes. Some of these mammals may be able to swim, but they spend the vast majority of their lives on land.

Some mammals are able to fly. Many species of bats live in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, while flying squirrels "fly" by gliding from tree to tree.

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