The importance of mammals in nature
Mammals are part of many animal food chains and promote the spread of seeds and spores of various plant species. Some mammals (especially bats, hedgehogs, moles) have a significant impact on the number of insects.
The conception of mammals in nature, from the point of view of humans, is ambiguous (largely due to their number). Moles, for example, are beneficial by feeding on the larvae of insect pests of the meadow; but at the same time they destroy earthworms, spoil meadows and vegetable gardens with earth emissions.
With a small number, the burrowing activity of wild boars contributes to the renewal of the forest (they embed seeds of trees and shrubs into the soil), but when the number of wild boars is large, they “plow” the soil several times and pull out everything that could germinate from it.
The importance of mammals to humans
Many species of mammals are of great commercial value (they supply humans with meat, skins and fur). Such animals include, for example, elk, reindeer, wild boar, saiga, squirrel, sable, muskrat, fox, hare, etc.
Some types of mammals cause great harm to humans. Mice and rats, for example, eat grain in storages, food in warehouses, feed on pig and poultry farms, damage wooden parts of buildings, and spread pathogens of plague and other dangerous diseases.
Wolves, jackals and some other predators (with a high number) damage livestock.
Animal husbandry is a broad branch of agriculture, including not only the breeding of domesticated mammals (cows, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, rabbits), but also poultry farming, fish farming, and beekeeping.
Domestication is a lengthy process. It is believed that reindeer and dogs were domesticated in 18 thousand years BC. e. Sheep were domesticated 8 thousand years ago; goats and pigs – 6.5 thousand years; cows – 5 thousand years.
A person breeds domestic animals to satisfy various needs (for obtaining food: meat, milk, fat, as well as industrial raw materials: wool, leather, bristles; and also uses them as a vehicle (horses, camels, donkeys, elephants)).
Livestock farms generate a lot of manure. It is used as an organic fertilizer, which not only provides plants with nutritious fertilizers, but also helps to improve the soil.
A special branch of animal husbandry – fur farming – is engaged in breeding fur-bearing animals: minks, blue foxes, silver-black foxes, nutria, sables, river beavers, chinchillas and other animals.
On a number of farms, sika deer and marals are bred in order to obtain valuable meat and skins, as well as young horns (pant), which are used to obtain a valuable medicine (pantocrine) that helps people with certain diseases.