How We Forget

So I went up to post a picture of my brothers’ new puppy Charlie.  Here he is:

Charlie1Everybody loves puppies right?  I was planning to name the category “Charlie and other Mammals” thinking that I’d start posting picture diaries Ann Althouse style, maybe even throw in pictures of my bird.  My bird.  The mammal.  Seriously, it took me over a minute to remember that birds aren’t mammals.  And when I tried to remember why– the differences between mammals and birds- all I could come up with is egg-laying and feathers rather than fir.  I remembered absolutely nothing at all about the differences between reptiles and amphibians.  I heard someone say, recently, that a modern man gets more knowledge from 1 or 2 books than the smartest “ancient man” acquired in his entire lifetime.  That’s probably true.  But, there are a whole host of things- super, super basic things- that we learn and almost totally forget; things that “ancient man” might of known cold, even if he couldn’t articulate them in exactly the same way.  How about you?  Can you say anything useful about the differences between birds and mammals (remember bats are mammals so flight isn’t  a total giveaway)?  Or are you as shockingly ignorant as I am?  I didn’t end up naming the category Charlie and other Mammals.  After a jaunt to wikipedia, I came up with an alternative.  Check it out.

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  1. MWS
    September 29, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    I think the distinction is that mammals give live birth, have mothers who secrete milk, and fur.

    Birds, of course, lay eggs, don’t nurse, and have feathers.

    I was never a science guy, but I think those are the distinguishing characteristics of mammals that separate them from other warm blooded animals.

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