The key difference between mammal and reptile is that mammal is a warm blooded vertebrate which can regulate the internal body temperature while reptile is a cold blooded vertebrate which cannot maintain constant body temperature.
Vertebrates are animals that have a backbone or a vertebral column. They can be either warm blooded or cold blooded. Warm blooded animals can regulate the internal temperature of the body while the cold blooded animals cannot regulate constant body temperature. Hence, their body temperature fluctuates according to the outside environment.
There are five main groups of vertebrates namely fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Among them, birds and mammals are warm blooded while fish, amphibians and reptiles are cold blooded. When considering the mammals and the reptiles, both are oxygen-breathing vertebrates that need nourishment for the living. Also, both have the same organ components such as the brain, heart, stomach, lungs, etc. Furthermore, the mammals and reptiles are both tetrapods, meaning that they both have four limbs. Though these are some similarities between both, there are also many differences between mammal and reptile.
What is a Mammal?
A mammal is a vertebrate that possesses the mammary glands to feed their young ones with milk. The mammals differ from other four vertebrates groups by these mammary glands. Furthermore, the mammal is a warm blooded animal that can regulate body heat irrespective to the external temperature or the environmental temperature. Most of the mammals are terrestrial animals.
Moreover, they have four limbs. Hence, they are tetrapods. Another characteristic feature of mammals is the hair. Unlike reptiles, mammals have hair on their skin.
Furthermore, mammals do not have a nucleus in their red blood cells while all other vertebrates possess nucleated red blood cells. Also, mammals have oil and sweat glands. Some examples of mammals include humans, dolphins, giraffes, horses, spotted hyenas, etc.
What is a Reptile?
Reptile is a cold blooded vertebrate that cannot maintain constant body temperature. Therefore, the reptile body temperature fluctuates according to the environmental temperature. Furthermore, reptiles have skin covered with hard and dry scales. Unlike mammals, reptiles lay eggs, and they abandon their young after hatching the eggs.
Moreover, most of the reptiles are terrestrial animals, but few are aquatic. The general belief is that, during the evolutionary timeline, reptiles have evolved from the amphibians. Some examples of the reptile species include alligators, snakes, lizards, turtles, etc.
What are the Similarities Between Mammal and Reptile?
- Mammal and reptile are vertebrates belong to phylum Chordata.
- They are considered the most complex animals on Earth.
- Also, both are air-breathing vertebrates.
- Additionally, they have spinal cords.
- Moreover, both mammal and reptile show internal fertilization.
- Mammals and reptiles are tetrapods, meaning they both have four limbs.
- Concerning the organs, both have the same organ components such as the brain, heart, stomach, lungs, among others.
- Also, most mammals and reptiles are terrestrial while few are partially or entirely aquatic.
- Furthermore, both of them reproduce sexually.
- In addition, they both possess bilateral symmetrical
- Besides, they possess a sophisticated nervous system, well-developed sense organs, a respiratory system that involves the pharynx or throat, a complex internal skeleton, and reproductive and excretory systems.
What is the Difference Between Mammal and Reptile?
The key difference between mammal and reptile is the way they regulate body heat. Mammals can produce body heat while reptiles need an external heat source such as the sun to maintain body temperature. It is, for this reason, most reptiles bask in the sun to get warm.
Another difference between mammal and reptile is that the mammals give birth to live young while the reptiles lay eggs. Also, the mammal offspring is very dependent on their parents for protection and nourishment while the reptile offspring do not become dependent on their parents since they abandon them after hatching the eggs.
Also, a significant difference between mammal and reptile is their appearance. That is; the mammals have hairs and furs while reptiles have scales. The below infographic on difference between mammal and reptile shows more differences between them.
Summary – Mammal vs Reptile
Both mammal and reptile are vertebrates of the phylum Chordata. However, a mammal is a warm blooded animal while a reptile is a cold blooded animal. We can consider this as the key difference between mammal and reptile. One other significant difference between mammal and reptile is that the mammals have hair on their skins while the reptiles have hard and dry scales on their skins. Also, though both mammal and reptile reproduce sexually, mammals give birth to young and nourish them with milk but, reptiles lay eggs and abandon the young. Furthermore, mammals have oil and sweat glands while reptiles do not possess. Thus, this summarizes the difference between mammal and reptile.
1.Rafferty, John P. “5 Vertebrate Groups.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Available here