Mammalogy is the study of animals within the Class Mammalia, and includes the taxonomic group of vertebrates in the Kingdom Animalia (Phylum Chordata, Subphylum Vertebrata). Mammals are characterized by:
- the ability to control internal body temperature, often with a coat of fur;
- the presence of mammary glands, which for females, enables the nourishment of young during early development; and
- generally the ability to give birth to live young.
Disciplines, such as biochemistry, physiology, animal behaviour, biology, and ecology all constitute mammalogy.
The Royal Alberta Museum's Mammalogy program, which began with the opening of the museum to the public in 1967, includes the documentation of 260 species from around the globe, including all of Alberta's 85 native mammal species. Mammals are studied and recorded as both living organisms and through the collection and preservation of field collected and donated specimens. Field and laboratory research taking place at the museum strives to increase our understanding and awareness of mammals with the goal of improving stewardship and conservation.