Mammal Orders & Families Of The World (Big Checklist)

This checklist of mammal orders and families is derived from several sources. In some cases, there is disagreement among the experts on the exact number of species. In cases like this, I have put the alternative values together separated by a slash (as in the Didelphidae below).

However, it should be noted I do not have access to the most up-to-date data and this list should be considered to be about 10 years old.

Checklist Of Mammal Orders and Families

OrderCommon NamesScientific NameNo. GeneraNo. SpeciesIUCNDistribution
MonotremataEchidnasTachyglossidae12Australia
PlatypusOrnithorhynchidae11Australia
MarsupialaOpossumsDidelphidae1175/77Americas
Monito del monteMicrobiotheriidae11Chile
Shrew or Rat OpossumsCaenolestidae2/37South America
Marsupial Mice, Dunnarts, Tasmanian DevilDasyuridae17/1852/58Australasia
Tasmanian WolfThylacinidae111Tasmania
Numbats/Banded AnteatersMyrmecobiidae111Australia
Marsupial moleNotoryctidae11Western Australia
BandicootsPeramelidae717/21Australasia
Rabbit-eared BandicootsThylacomyidae12Australia
Possums, Cuscuses, Gledero, RingtailsPhalangeridae620Australasia
Pygmy possumsBurramyidae47Australia, New Guinea
Ringtail possumsPseudocheiridae216Australia
GlidersPetauridae49Australia
Kangaroos, WallabiesMacropodidae1656Australasia
KoalasPhascolarctidae11Australia
WombatsVombatidae23Australia
Noolbenger or Honey PossumTarsipedidae11Australia
MacroscelideaElephant ShrewsMacroscelididae415Africa
InsectivoraHedgehogs, GymnuresErinaceidae920Africa, Asia, Europe
Moles and DesmansTalpidae12/1529/32Eurasia, North America, Himalayas
TenrecsTenrecidae1023Africa
Golden MolesChrysochloridae718Africa
SolenodonsSolenodontidae12West Indies
ShrewsSoricidae22289Worldwide
DermopteraFlying Lemurs, ColugosCynocephalidae12South-east Asia
ChiropteraOld World Fruit Bats, Flying FoxesPteropodidae4217366Africa to India, Australia Asia
Mouse-tailed BatsRhinopomatidae13North Africa, South Asia
Hog-nosed BatCraseonycteridae11Thailand
Sac-winged Bats, Sheath-tailed BatsEmballonuridae1248Pan-tropical
Bull-dog Bats, Fish-eating BatsNoctilionidae12Central and South America
Hollow-faced BatsNycteridae113Africa, Near East, South-east Asia
False Vampire Bats, Yellow-winged BatsMegadermatidae45Africa, South-east Asia, Pacific, Australia
Horsehose Bats, Noseleaf BatsRhinolophidae169Old World and Pacific
Leaf-nosed BatsHipposideridae963Old World and Pacific
New World Leaf-nosed BatsPhyllostomidae48148Americas
Moustached Bats, Naked-backed Bats, Leaf-chinned BatsMormoopidae28Americas
Funnel-eared BatsNatalidae15Tropical Central and South America
Smokey BatsFuripteridae11South America
Disc-winged BatsThyropteridae12Central to South America
Sucker-footed BatsMyzopodidae11Madagascar
Common BatsVespertilionidae42355Worldwide
Short-tailed BatsMystacinidae12New Zealand
Free-tailed BatsMolossidae1686Worldwide (warm areas)
PrimatesLemursLemuridae512Madagascar
Dwarf Lemurs, Mouse LemursCheirogaleidae4/57Madagascar
Sifakas, Indri, Woolly LemursIndridae35Madagascar
Aye-ayeDaubentoniidae11Madagascar
Weasel Lemurs, Koala LemursMegaladapidae110Madagascar
GalagosGalagonidae411Africa
Lorises, PottoesLorisidae814Tropical Old World
TarsiersTarsiidae14Sumatra, Phillipines
New World MonkeysCebidae1244Central to South America
Marmosets, TamarinsCallitrichidae520/21Central to South America
Old World MonkeysCercopithecidae1994Africa and Eurasia
OrangutansPonginae11Sumatra, Borneo
GibbonsHylobatidae19S.E. Asia
Humans, Great ApesHominidae*045Worldwide
ScandentiaTree ShrewsTupaiidae618South-east Asia
Xenarthra *1AnteatersMyrmecophagidae34Central and South America
SlothsBradypodidae26Central and South America
ArmadillosDasypodidae820The Americas
West Indian Sloth and Two-toed Tree SlothMegalonychidae12The Americas
Three-toed Tree SlothsBradypodidae13South America
PholidotaPangolins, Scaly AnteatersManidae18Africa, South East Asia
TubulidentataAardvarkOrycteropodidae11Africa
LagomorphaPikasOchotonidae121North America, Europe, Asia
Hares and RabbitsLeporidae1147Worldwide, since man-made introductions
RodentiaMountain Beaver, SewellelAplodontidae11North America
BeaversCastoridae12Europe and North America
Squirrels, Chipmonks, Marmots, Prarie Dogs etcSciuridae49/50260/267Worldwide except Australia, S. America and Madagascar
Scaly-tailed SquirrelsAnomaluridae37Africa
Spring HaresPedetidae11Africa
Rats, Mice, Voles, Gerbils, Hamsters, etcMuridae245/2671138Worldwide following introductions to Australasia
DormiceGliridae920Africa, Asia, Europe
Bamboo Rats, African Mole RatsRhizomyidae36Africa, South East Asia
Birch Mice, Jumping MiceZapodidae417North America, Eurasia
JerboasDipodidae1131North Africa, Arabia, Asia Minor, China
Pocket Mice, Kangaroo RatsHeteromyidae665America
Pocket GophersGeomyidae637America
Blind Mole RatsSpalacidae*213Europe
Old World PorcupinesHystricidae412Africa, Europe, Asia, Phillipines
New World PorcupinesErethizontidae410America
Guinea Pigs, etcCaviidae517South America
CapybaraHydrochaeridae11South America
CoypuMyocastoridae*311South America and introduced to other parts of the world
Hutias, NutriaCapromyidae*4413Central and South America
PacaranaDinomyidae11South America
PacasAgoutidae12Central and South America
Agoutis,Dasyproctidae213Central and South America
Chinchilla RatsAbrocomidae12South America
Spiny RatsEchimyidae1769South America
Chinchillas, ViscachasChinchillidae36Argentina
Octodonts, DeguOctodontidae59South America
Tuco TucosCtenomyidae144South America
Cane Rats, GrasscuttersThryonomyidae12Southern Africa
Dassie RatPetromyidae11South Africa
Old World PorcupinesHystricidae311Africa and Eurasia
AgoutisDasypractidae29Central and South America
GundisCtenodactylidae45N. Africa
Blesmols, African Mole RatsBathyergidae58Africa
CarnivoraDogs, Wolves, Foxes, JackalsCanidae1636*5Worldwide
BearsUrsidae38Worldwide except Australia
Racoons, etcProcyonidae719America and parts of Asia
Weasels, Otters, Skunks, BadgersMustelidae2365/67Worldwide except Australasia and West Indies
Mongooses, Civets, Genets, etcViverridae36/3771Eurasia, Africa and the East Indies
Hyena, AardwolfHyaenidae34Africa, Asia, India
CatsFelidae173617Worldwide except Australia and many Islands
PinnipediaEared Seals, Sea LionsOtariidae714Worldwide except Europe
WalrusOdobenidae11Arctic Regions of the Atlantic, and the Pacific
SealsPhocidae1019Most seas/oceans, Lake Baikal
CetaceaGanges and Indus DolphinsPlatanistidae12Rivers - Indian subcontinent
Boutos, Amazon River DolphinsIniidae11/2Rivers - S. America
Baiji, White-fin DolphinLipotidae11Rivers - China
Franciscana, La Plata DolphinPontoporiidae11Coastal - S.E. America
Ocean DolphinsDelphinidae1734All oceans, and some seas, rivers and estuaries
PorpoisesPhocoenidae46Northern oceans
Narwhal, BelugaMonodontidae22Arctic ocean and adjacent seas
Sperm WhalesPhyseteridae23All oceans
Beaked WhalesZiphiidae618All oceans
Grey WhalesEschrichtiidae11North Pacific
RorqualsBalaenopteridae26All oceans
Right WhalesBalaenidae22All oceans
Pygmy Right WhaleNeobalaenidae11Cooler southern oceans
SireniaManateesTrichechidae13Sub-tropical Atlantic coasts and rivers
DugongsDugongidae11*6Indo-Pacific coastal waters
ProboscideaElephantsElephantidae23Africa, South East Asia, India
HyracoideaHyraxesProcaviidae37/11Africa, Middle East
PerissodactylaHorses, Zebras, AssesEquidae17/8Africa, Middle East, Tibet, Mongolia
TapirsTapiridae14South East Asia, South America
RhinocerosesRhinocerotidae45Africa, India, South Asia
ArtiodactylaCamelsCamelidae36Asia, North Africa, South America
PigsSuidae59Europe, Africa, Asia (introduced to America and Australia)
Peccaries, JavelinasTayassuidae23America
HippopotamusesHippopotamidae22Africa
Chevrotains, Mouse DeerTragulidae1/23/4South East Asia, India, Africa
Deer, etcCervidae1745Worldwide, introduced to Australasia
GiraffesGiraffidae22Africa
Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Antelopes, etcBovidae48139Worldwide, except Australasia and the Poles

  • *0 In many books the Great Apes are included in a separate family, the Pongidae, however while there are strong social reasons for separating them the scientific reasons are doubtful.
  • *1 The Xenarthra are known as the Edentata in some books.
  • *2 The Spalacidae are often included in the Muridae as the subfamily Spalacinae.
  • *3 The Myocastoridae are sometimes included in the Capromyidae.
  • *4 The Capromyidae is an interesting family because it contains an additional 4 genera and 18 species which have gone extinct in geologically recent times.
  • *5 This includes Dusicyon australis which is considered to have gone extinct in 1870.
  • *6 Note that Stellar’s Sea Cow, Hydrodamalis gigas, is believed to have become extinct around 1768.

I would like to thank Professor Brad Bergstrom, Dept. of Biology, Valdosta St. Univ. for looking over this list and for the corrections and suggestions regarding the mammal orders and families that he made.

Photo of author

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

2 thoughts on “Mammal Orders & Families Of The World (Big Checklist)”

    • The arrangement of the orders pretty much follows George Gaylord Simpson’s classic “Principles of Classification and a Classification of Mammals” (Simpson, 1945) which was the basic textbook system up until the end of the last century. The apparent alphabetic disorganization is created by un-included (for simplification) of higher levels of classification that represent degrees of relatedness, such as infraclass and subclass which link various orders together. That said this table is now well out of date and I will put updating it on the top of my to do list.

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