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Wetland Biology

Biological Inventories

Mammals

The following is a highly abbreviated list of the mammals found to reside within or frequent wetland areas in the vicinity of the Republican River in South-central Nebraska. It has been arranged following a binomial classification system recognized by mammologists world-wide. It is a Linnaean system comprised of two names; the first is the genus. The second is the specific epithet. Together they make the species name. For greater ease in using this list, a common name follows the scientific name. Notice that the taxonomic classification arranges the species according to degrees of similarity. Genera that are more closely similar to each other than to any others are grouped together under the heading of Family. Families that are more closely related to one another than they are to any others are classified in the same Order. All of the species in this list are mammals and therefore fall into the Class Mammalia. By looking at the way in which this list has been presented (with indentations) you will be able to recognize similar characteristics or life-style habits within the groups even if you are unfamiliar with a particular species. Classification systems allow researchers some flexibility to make reasonable judgments about the probability of finding a given species in a selected habitat type. If the research site meets many or all of the criteria necessary to sustain a population of a given species, one might expect to find such a species there. When on-site investigations reveal that the species is not there biologists ask "Why?". Scientific investigations are formed and the work begins. It is good to remember that classification systems are the designs of humanity. They help us understand our world and attempt to give every organism a unique spot in that system. The organisms do as they desire. Sometimes they fit nicely into our system, yet at other times they defy it. The "problems" are due to the system humans have created and not the organisms we attempt to understand.