Scouting/BSA/Mammal Study Merit Badge

The requirements to this merit badge are copyrighted by the Boy Scouts of America. They are reproduced in part here under fair use as a resource for Scouts and Scouters to use in the earning and teaching of merit badges. The requirements published by the Boy Scouts of America should always be used over the list here. If in doubt about the accuracy of a requirement, consult your Merit Badge Counselor.
Reading this page does not satisfy any requirement for any merit badge. Per National regulations, the only person who may sign off on requirements is a Merit Badge Counselor, duly registered and authorized by the local Council. To obtain a list of registered Merit Badge Counselors, or to begin a Merit Badge, please contact your Scoutmaster or Council Service Center.

Mammal Study

Merit Badge Workbook

This workbook can help you but you still need to read the merit badge pamphlet (book). No one can add or subtract from the Boy Scout Requirements #33215. Merit Badge Workbooks and much more are below: Online Resources. Workbook developer: craig@craiglincoln.com. Requirements revised: 2003, Workbook updated: November 2008.

1. Explain the meaning of "animal," Animals are living things which consume other living (or once-living) organisms for sustenance. "invertebrate," Invertebrates are a diverse group of animals, that lack of a spinal cord. "vertebrate," Vertebrates are animals that do have a spinal chord. and "mammal." Mammals are a group of animals that include humans, mice, elephants, whales and bears. All mammals have hair on some part of their body at some stage during their life-cycle. Almost all mammals give birth to live young. All mammals are warm-blooded. Their core body temperature remains at some constant value. Name three characteristics that distinguish mammals form all other animals. Have hair at some part of their life, Give birth to live young, and warm blooded

2. Explain how the animal kingdom is classified. Lion Kingdom: The lion is an animal because it eats other organisms for sustence. Therefore, it is in the Kingdom Animalia. Phylum: The lion has a spinal chord, and it is thus in the Phylum Chordata. Class: The lion has hair and mammary glands, and gives birth to live young. This makes it a mammal, and a member of the Class Mammalia. Order: The lion is a member of the Order Carnivora because it shares specific characteristics of skull and teeth shape (and not because it is a carnivore). Family: The lion is a cat, and is thus a part of the Family Felidae (Note: all families of mammals end in -idae). Genus: The lion has special characteristics that allow it to roar, and is therefore a member of the Genus Panthera. Species: The lion is the species leo of the genus Panthera. The scientific name of a species is both terms combined (e.g. Panthera leo, sometimes abbreviated P. leo). Explain where mammals fit in the classification of animals. Kingdom: Animalia, class: Mammalia. Classify three mammals from phylum through species. Mammal 1 The domestic dog form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. Mammal 2 The cat (Felis catus), also known as the domestic cat or housecat to distinguish it from other felines and felids, is a small furry domesticated carnivorous mammal that is valued by humans for its companionship and for its ability to hunt household pests. Cats have been associated with humans for at least 9,500 years. Mammal 3 The fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium-sized canids (slightly smaller than the median-sized domestic dog), characterized by possessing a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail (or brush).


3. Do ONE of the following: a. Spend 3 hours in each of two different kinds of natural habitats or at different elevation. List the different mammal species and individual members that you identified by sight or sign.




Tell why all mammals do not live in the same kind of habitat. All Mammals don’t live in the same kind of habitat because they have different needs, some need different climates, different food, ect.

b. Spend 3 hours on each of 5 days on at least a 25- acre area (about the size of 3 1/2 football fields). List the mammal species you identified by sight or sign.



c. From study and reading, write a simple history of one non-game mammal that lives in your area. Red tail hawk Tell how this mammal lived before its habitat was affected in any way by humans. The red tail hawk had an easier time finding food. It had an huge amount of space and many places to build a nest. And the population used to be bigger. Tell how it reproduces, Hawk pairs fly in large circles to attract each other so they can lay eggs together. what it eats, Hawks eat mice, squirrels, rabbits, ect. It is a carnivore. and its natural habitat. It’s natural habitat is the wild. Trees, bushes, ect. Describe its dependency upon plants, It builds nests in trees and bushes. upon other animals (including humans), It eats other animals. and how they depend upon it. For food Tell how it is helpful or harmful to humankind. Hawks are helpful because they kill mice and we use them for hunting and food. 4. Do ONE of the following: a. Under the guidance of a nature center or natural history museum, make two study skins of rats or mice. Skin 1: Skin 2: Tell the uses of study skins


and mounted specimens respectively.


b. Take good pictures of two kinds of mammals in the wild. Record light conditions, film used, exposure, and other factors, including notes on the activities of the pictured animals. Photo 1 Mammal: Dog Charlie Photo 2 Mammal: Kyle (my brother) Light conditions: Bright Light conditions: Average Film Used: Digital Film Used: Digital Exposure: Exposure: Animal’s Activities: Sleeping on swing Animal’s Activities: Sitting in chair Other factors: Flash off Other factors: Flash off c. Write a life history of a native game mammal that lives in your area, covering the points outlined in requirement 3C. List sources for this information Native Game Animal: White tailed deer Tell how this mammal lived before its habitat was affected in any way by man. The White Tailed Deer lived in most forests in the U.S. It was also more populated before it was hunted. Tell how it reproduces, Males are sexually active in the second year and females in their first fall. what it eats, Graze, northern white cede, red maple, hemlock, mountain ash, acorns, beechnuts, and fruits. and its natural habitat. Brush openings, crop fields, wood lots, and wetlands. Describe its dependency upon plants, It eats trees and plants and also uses them as shelter and cover. upon other animals (including man), Man thins out the population and man plants crops that they eat. and how they depend upon it. So they don’t over populate or starve. Tell how it is helpful or harmful to man. We thin the populated and we feed them. d. Make a bait and tracking pit. Report what mammals and other animals came to the bait.



e. Visit a natural history museum. Report on how specimens are prepared and cataloged.


Explain the purposes of museums. Museums show history and how people before us lived. f. Write a report of 500 words on a book about a mammal species. Done g. Trace two possible food chains of carnivorous mammals from soil through four stages to the mammal. Possible food chain 1: Soil: Stage 1: Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4

Possible food chain 2: Soil: Stage 1: Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4

5. Working with your counselor, select and carry out one project that will influence the numbers of one or more mammals.

Requirement 2Edit

Explain how the animal kingdom is classified. Explain where mammals fit in the classification of animals. Classify three mammals from phylum through species.

Animals (and other organisms, like plants) are classified into groups for several reasons. First of all, the sheer number of species of animals in the world is quite large, and many are un-named or confusingly-named (for example, several different vegetables are called turnips). Thus, a Swedish scientist named Linnaeus created a system to classify organisms based on recognizable traits, and used an old, extinct language (Latin) to refer to organisms. He chose Latin because it was rigid in spelling and pronunciation, and so it would enable simple communication between scientists who spoke different languages or dialects.

The modern system of organism-classifying is derived from Linnaeus' system. The science of classifying organisms is called taxonomy. The exact methods of classifying organisms can change as scientists discover new characteristics that separate and unite organisms. For example, science used to classify all organisms into two kingdoms (a kingdom is the largest basic unit of classification), plants and animals. This was based on a simple formulation -- anything which devoured other organisms was an animal, and anything that did not, was a plant. Eventually, however, scientists decided that this system did not adequately describe reality, and the Fungi were added as a third kingdom. Later still, three kingdoms have been added for various kinds of microscopic organisms like bacteria.

These cheetahs are part of the same order, Carnivora, as wolves, raccoons and seals

There are seven basic levels of classification. They can be remembed using the mnemonic device King Philip Came Over For Great Soup (the first letter of each word is the first letter of the unit of classification, in order).

Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Order
Family
Genus
Species

An example classification for the lion

Kingdom: The lion is an animal because it eats other organisms for sustence. Therefore, it is in the Kingdom Animalia.
Phylum: The lion has a spinal chord, and it is thus in the Phylum Chordata.
Class: The lion has hair and mammary glands, and gives birth to live young. This makes it a mammal, and a member of the Class Mammalia.
Order: The lion is a member of the Order Carnivora because it shares specific characteristics of skull and teeth shape (and not because it is a carnivore).
Family: The lion is a cat, and is thus a part of the Family Felidae (Note: all families of mammals end in -idae).
Genus: The lion has special characteristics that allow it to roar, and is therefore a member of the Genus Panthera.
Species: The lion is the species leo of the genus Panthera. The scientific name of a species is both terms combined (e.g. Panthera leo, sometimes abbreviated P. leo).

The above process weeds out successively less similar organisms, so very similar animals like panthers and cheetahs, have the same classification until near the end.

Kingdom: Animalia - also includes jellyfish, snakes, mice, wolves, cheetahs and tigers
Phylum: Chordata - also includes snakes, mice, wolves, cheetahs and tigers
Class: Mammalia - also includes mice, wolves, cheetahs and tigers
Order: Carnivora - also includes wolves, cheetahs and tigers
Family: Felidae - also includes cheetahs and tigers
Genus: Panthera - also includes tigers
Species: leo - is the lion, and includes no other organisms

Requirement 3Edit

Spend 3 hours in each of two different kinds of natural habitats or at different elevations. List the different mammal species and individual members that you identified by sight or sign. Tell why all mammals do not live in the same kind of habitat.
Spend 3 hours on each of 5 days on at least a 25-acre area. List the mammal species you identified by sight or sign.

When making these observations, it is best to prepare. Think about what kinds of mammals might be living in the habitat, and how you could see or otherwise find evidence of them. You may be able to find tracks in the ground, or dens or dams or other physical evidence of mammals.

Mammals do not all live in the same habitat because each species is uniquely adapted for one niche. For example, in a forest, squirrels perform a necessary function, spreading acorns, for example, and thus ensuring that trees' offspring can spread far from the parent plant; squirrels also provide sustenance for predators, such as snakes. No other organism fits into the squirrel's niche, and the squirrel can not function well in any other niche. All species in the forest have a unique niche; mammals that do not have such a niche do not live there -- for example, lions are well-adapted for their role on the savannas, but are not well-suited for a temperate forest.

From study and reading, write a simple history of one nongame mammal that lives in your area. Tell how this mammal lived before its habitat was affected in any way by man. Tell how it reproduces, what it eats, what eats it, and its natural habitat. Describe its dependency upon plants, upon other animals (including man), and how they depend upon it. Tell how it is helpful or harmful to man.

A game mammal is one that is widely hunted, such as deer. Most mammals are not game mammals. For help in choosing a mammal, see the list of mammals.

Requirement 4Edit

Under the guidance of a nature center or natural history museum, make two study skins of rats or mice. Tell the uses of study skins and mounted specimens respectively.
Take good pictures of two kinds of mammals in the wild. Record light conditions, film used, exposure, and other factors, including notes on the activities of the pictured animals.
Write a life history of a native game mammal that lives in your area, covering the points outlined in requirement 3c. List sources for this information.
Make and bait a tracking pit. Report what mammals and other animals came to the bait.
Visit a natural history museum. Report on how specimens are prepared and cataloged. Explain the purposes of museums.
Write a report of 500 words on a book about a mammal species.

Some classic books about mammal species include:

Trace two possible food chains of carnivorous mammals from soil through four stages to the mammal.

A food chain is a hierarchy of organisms which devour each other. Energy can be traced through a food chain, beginning with its source, plants. The first step in a food chain is always a plant (for example, algae), which creates energy using sunlight (see photosynthesis). The algae is then eaten by small microscopic organisms called protists, who are in turn eaten by a squid. The squid is eaten by a seal, and the seal by an orca. The energy produced by the algae can be traced to the orca.

algae --> protists --> squid --> seal --> orca

Requirement 5Edit

Work with your counselor, select and carry out one project that will influence the numbers of one or more mammals.

External linksEdit


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Last modified on 28 June 2011, at 20:16