The three characteristics of a mammal are: they produce milk, they bear live young, and they have hair.

23 Answers

  • We learned this up at scout camp. Not everything is what it seems. So yes, a coconut is a mammal. As to the bearing live young, technically, there are only two types of young: egg and live. It has hair, it produces milk, and it bears live young.

    Source(s): Riley
  • One more characteristic; they're an animal. Coconuts aren't animals. Coconuts also don't have milk in the same sense that a female mammal does. It doesn't come from aʙʀᴇᴀsт. Coconut milk is just a term for the liquid that is inside the coconut, it's not milk in any other sense.

  • Mammalia and other groups are defined not by their characteristics, but by common ancestry. The group 'mammals' is thus exclusive to the ancestor of extant (non-extinct) mammals and all of its descendants (extant or extinct). Convergent evolution cannot change phylogenetic (taxonomic) affinity, because it does not alter the pattern of historical ancestry and descent. (Nor can superficial similarity as in your example - hairlike fibres on the husk of the coconut are not 'hairs' biologically, nor do coconuts produce milk - coconuts contain 'coconut water,' coconut milk is derived by grinding the fleshy pulp of the fruit.) Thus, the platypus is a mammal not a bird, in spite of its bird-like bill, because it shares a common ancestor with other mammals. Similarly, a labrador retriever is a dog not a duck, in spite of its webbed feet, because it shares a common ancestor with other dogs not with ducks. That said, your example aside (no reasonable person would mistake a coconut for a mammal), convergent evolution can cause taxonomists to mistakenly identify animals to an incorrect group. For example, based on superficial examination, a taxonomist might be initially inclined to group dolphins and whales with fish or bats with birds. However, this would be in error as bats and cetaceans have mammalian origin.

  • this is what i learned back in 5th grade:

    "A camel is a mammal. A sɴᴀκᴇᴅ is not. I can tell a mammal by the kind of things its got. It's got a strong backbone, hair on its skin, nurses from it's mother and it's warm within."

    so no. a cococunt is not a mammal

    Source(s): Ms. Cunningham (my 5th grade teacher)
  • Actually the one feature that sets mammals apart from other animals is that they have three middle ear bones: the incus, malleus, and stapes.

    Not all mammals bear live young, monotremes for example (like the duck-billed platypus) lay eggs.

  • Don't forget that mammals are in the phylum Chordata. This means that in order for something to be a mammal, it must also have a spinal chord.

  • well, maybe it's 2/3s mammal. Coconuts don't bear live young.

  • NO a coconut is not a mammal , they may be hairy and all but still, No it is not a mammmal.

  • well....befor asking is it a mamal or not, lets ask: is it an animal??!!

    it's not an animal so therfor it can't be a mammal 'couse it's a part of plant...wich is complecated in it's structure to travel over sees(thick envelop to protect the inside) then land on the beach then the seeds come out & grow cocconut that's why thees trees grow on beaches...sorry for writing alot..I just know that & wanted U people(if U didn't know) to know...I think it unique how it travels over sees.... 🙂

  • you wasted points asking THIS? technically, it isn't "hair" on a coconut, it's a fiber. and i believe that mammals also need to be vertebrates, which would require a spine.

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