Difference Between Animal and Mammal

The main difference between animal and mammal is that the animal refers to any type of organism classified under kingdom Animalia whereas a mammal is a type of animal that has mammary glands and a body covered with fur. Furthermore, not all animals are vertebrates but, mammals are vertebrates. 

Animal and mammal are two types of multicellular organisms with a higher organization. 

Key Areas Covered 

1. Animal
     – Definition, Characteristics, Classification
2. Mammal
     – Definition, Characteristics, Classification
3. What are the Similarities Between Animal and Mammal
     – Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Animal and Mammal
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms 

Animal, Animal Phyla, Mammal, Mammary Glands

Difference Between Animal and Mammal - Comparison Summary

Animal – Definition, Characteristics, Classification  

Animals are multicellular eukaryotes with a higher organization. They belong to the kingdom Animalia and inhabit a variety of habitats such as terrestrial, amphibious, aquatic, and aerial. The main characteristic features of animals are listed below. 

  1. Growing from a hollow cell sphere called blastula; 
  2. Consumption of organic material; 
  3. Breathe oxygen; 
  4. Ability to move; 
  5. Sexual reproduction. 

Over 1.5 million animal species live on the earth. Most of them have bilateral symmetry. Below shown is the classification of animals. 

  1. Phylum Vertebrata – The most advanced group of animals with a true vertebral column having an internal skeleton, notochord, dorsal nerve cord, post-anal tail, and pharyngeal slits. Ex: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish 
  2. Phylum Protochordata – Triploblastic animals with a notochord, who exclusively live in marine habitats; Ex: Herdmania and Balanoglossus  
  3. Phylum Echinodermata – Exclusively marine animals with a scaly skin; adults show radial symmetry. Ex: starfish, sea cucumber, and sea urchin  
  4. Phylum Mollusca – Triploblastic animals with a reduced coelom and unsegmented body; have a muscular foot. Ex: snails, mussels, and octopus  
    Difference Between Animal and Mammal

    Figure 1: Octopus

  5. Phylum Arthropoda – The largest group of animals in the kingdom with jointed legs; Ex: butterfly, housefly, spiders, mosquitoes, and crabs 
  6. Phylum Annelida – Animals with a true coelom; cylindrical, segmented body; Ex: earthworms and leeches 
    Main Difference - Animal and Mammal

    Figure 2: An Annelid

  7. Phylum Nematoda – Triploblastic roundworms with a pseudo coelom; Ex: AscarisWucheria  
  8. Phylum Platyhelminthes – Triploblastic flatworms that are mainly parasitic; Ex: Planaria, liver fluke, and tapeworm  
  9. Phylum Coelenterata – Diploblastic animals with a sac-like body cavity with a single opening; colonial animals; Ex: jellyfish, sea Anemone, and Hydra  
  10. Phylum Porifera – Simplest animals mainly living in marine habitats, commonly called sponges; Ex: Spongilla and Sycon  

Mammal – Definition, Characteristics, Classification  

Mammals are a type of vertebrates and the most developed animals in the kingdom. They are warm-blooded animals whose body is covered with hair or fur. The most significant features of mammals are listed below.  

  1. Body covered with hair or fur; 
  2. Presence of sweat glands; 
  3. Presence of three, middle ear bones; 
  4. Presence of mammary glands; 
  5. Presence of single, lower jaw bones in each side of the face; 
  6. Possession of a neocortex in the brain; 
  7. Development of the embryo inside the uterus; 
  8. Giving birth to live young. 

The three types of mammals are placentals, monotremes, and marsupials.  

  1. Placentals – They nourish the young through the placenta inside the womb. Ex: Primate, carnivores, rodents, etc 
    Animal and Mammal

    Figure 3: White Bear, a Placental

  2. Marsupials – They give birth to incompletely-developed young. Ex: kangaroos, possums, koalas, and bandicoots.  
  3. Monotremes – They lay large yolky eggs. Ex: echidnas and platypuses 

Similarities Between Animal and Mammal 

  • Animal and mammal are two types of higher organisms classified under kingdom Animalia. 
  • They are multicellular eukaryotes. 
  • Both grow from a hollow cell sphere called blastula. 
  • Both consume organic materials. 
  • They breath oxygen. 
  • They are motile and undergo sexual reproduction. 

Difference Between Animal and Mammal 


An animal refers to a living organism which feeds on organic matter, typically having specialized sense organs and nervous system and able to respond rapidly to stimuli while a mammal refers to a warm-blooded vertebrate animal of a class that is distinguished by the possession of hair or fur, females that secrete milk for the nourishment of the young, and (typically) the birth of live young.  

Belong to 

Animals belong to the kingdom Animalia while mammals belong to the class Mammalia. 

Characteristic Features 

Development from a blastula, consumption of organic material, breath oxygen, motility, and sexual reproduction are the characteristic features of animals while the fur-covered body, sweat glands, three ear bones, single lower jaw bone, neocortex, uterus, giving birth to live young, and mammary glands are the characteristic features of mammals. 


Vertebrata, Protochordata, Echinodermata, Mollusca, Arthropoda, Annelida, Nematoda, Platyhelminthes, Coelenterata, and Porifera are the animal phyla while placentals, marsupials, and monotremes are the three types of mammals. 


Animals are multicellular eukaryotes, which develop from a blastula. They consume organic materials and breath oxygen. Mammals are the most developed groups of animals whose body is covered with fur. They have mammary glands and they give birth to the live young. The main difference between animals and mammals is the characteristics. 


1. “Animal Kingdom: Classification of Animals into Phyla, Videos, Examples.” Toppr Bytes, 13 Feb. 2018, Available Here

Image Courtesy:

1. “Octopus” By NOAA Ocean Exploration & Research (CC BY-SA 2.0via flickr
2. “Nerr0328” By Unknown –  (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
3. “1036712” (Public domain) via pxhere

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things. She has a keen interest in writing articles regarding science.

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