This is a list of Texas mammals, those mammals native to or immediately off the coast of the state of Texas in the United States.
Mammals are vertebrate animals constituting the class Mammalia, and characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in females produce milk for feeding (nursing) their young, a neocortex, fur or hair, and three middle ear bones. These characteristics distinguish them from reptiles and birds, from which they diverged in the late Triassic, 201–227 million years ago. There are around 5,450 species of mammals. The largest orders are the rodents, bats and Soricomorpha. The next three are the Primates, the Cetartiodactyla, and the Carnivora.
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.
Having a mild climate and a range of biomes, from plains and grassland in the north, forests and swamps in the east, mountains in the far west, desert in the west and south, and an extensive coastline, makes Texas home to a wide variety of mammal species. Its central location in the United States makes it a convergence point for the ranges of many species found in the east and west, as well, with its proximity to Mexico, Texas serves as a northern range for several Central American species. While there are also many species endemic to Texas itself.
A biome is a community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate. Biome is a broader term than habitat; any biome can comprise a variety of habitats.
Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometers (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the tenth most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.
Central America is located on the southern tip of North America, or is sometimes defined as a subcontinent of the Americas, bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The combined population of Central America has been estimated to be 41,739,000 and 42,688,190.
Texas recognizes three species as their official mammal, including the nine-banded armadillo, the Texas longhorn, and the Mexican free-tailed bat. State law protects numerous species. Those considered threatened species are denoted by (T) and those considered endangered species denoted by (E). Some species are believed to be extirpated from the state, denoted with (X). Several species have been introduced to Texas, and established permanent populations, denoted with (I).
The nine-banded armadillo, or the nine-banded, long-nosed armadillo, is a medium-sized mammal found in North, Central, and South America, making it the most widespread of the armadillos. Its ancestors originated in South America, and remained there until the formation of the Isthmus of Panama allowed them to enter North America as part of the Great American Interchange. The nine-banded armadillo is a solitary, mainly nocturnal animal, found in many kinds of habitats, from mature and secondary rainforests to grassland and dry scrub. It is an insectivore, feeding chiefly on ants, termites, and other small invertebrates. The armadillo can jump 3–4 ft (91–122 cm) straight in the air if sufficiently frightened, making it a particular danger on roads. It is the state small mammal of Texas.
The Mexican free-tailed bat or Brazilian free-tailed bat is a medium-sized bat native to the Americas, regarded as one of the most abundant mammals in North America. Its proclivity towards roosting in huge numbers at relatively few locations makes it vulnerable to habitat destruction in spite of its abundance. The bat is considered a species of special concern in California as a result of declining populations. It has been claimed to have the fastest horizontal speed of any animal, reaching top ground speeds over 160 km/h; its actual air speed has not been measured.
Threatened species are any species which are vulnerable to endangerment in the near future. Species that are threatened are sometimes characterised by the population dynamics measure of critical depensation, a mathematical measure of biomass related to population growth rate. This quantitative metric is one method of evaluating the degree of endangerment.
The hairy-legged vampire bat is one of three extant species of vampire bats. It mainly feeds on the blood of wild birds, but can also feed both on domestic birds and humans. This vampire bat lives mainly in tropical and subtropical forestlands of South America, Central America, and southern Mexico. It is the sole member of the genus Diphylla.
The Mexican long-tongued bat is a species of bat in the family Phyllostomidae. It is monotypic within the genus Choeronycteris. The species is found in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and the United States.
The big brown bat is a widespread species of bat found throughout North America, Central America, the Caribbean, and extreme northern South America.
The California myotis is a species of vesper bat. It is found in British Columbia in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, and in the western United States, including California.
The cave myotis is a species of vesper bat (Vespertilionidae) in the genus Myotis.
The big free-tailed bat is a bat species found in South, North and Central America.
The pocketed free-tailed bat is a species of bat in the family Molossidae found in Mexico and in Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas in the United States. They resemble the Brazilian free-tailed bat but differ morphologically. They are classified within the order Chiroptera. They are recognized as "un-threatened" by the IUCN and as "apparently secure" by Natureserve categories.
The western mastiff bat, also known as the western bonneted bat, the greater mastiff bat, or the greater bonneted bat, is a member of the free-tailed bat family, Molossidae. It is found in the Western United States, Mexico and South America, and is the largest bat native to North America. The subspecies Eumops perotis californicus is a species of concern as identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The range of this subspecies is principally southwest desert regions of the United States, along the border with Mexico; however, the range extends as far north on the Pacific coast to Alameda County, California.
The Inglis quarry or Inglis quarry sites 1A and 1C are assemblages of vertebrate fossils dating from the Pleistocene ~1.8 Mya—300,000 years ago, located in the phosphate quarries near the town of Inglis, Citrus County, northern Florida.
The Haile Quarry or Haile sites are an Early Miocene and Pleistocene assemblage of vertebrate fossils located in the Haile quarries, Alachua County, northern Florida. The assemblage was discovered during phosphate mining, which began in the late 1940s. Haile sites are found in the Alachua Formation. Two sites within the Ocala Limestone yielded Upper Eocene Valvatida and mollusks.