A reptomammal was any species having both reptilian and mammalian traits, such as having scaly skin yet but having fur instead for warmth, and giving birth to live young or laying their eggs and giving milk to feed their young; like those of marsupials and monotremes. Examples of reptomammals include the tauntaun, wampa, sketto, and rancor.
Reptomammals were almost exclusively warm-blooded, an attribute that differentiated them from viviparous reptiles. Additionally, the presence of milk-bearing teats in females separated them from their scalier kin. These traits were more common in harsher environments, where the defensive characteristics of reptiles could be combined with the adaptable physiologies of mammals to great success.
Usually a reptomammalian species tended to have more in common with one class than another—the wampa, while mammalian in external appearance, possessed a layer of scaly skin underneath its dense layer of fur. Rancors by contrast had no fur, did not suckle, and were reptilian in appearance, but gave live birth and extensively cared for live young. Skettos, one of the most characteristically reptilian of the reptomammals, had warm blood as nearly its only defining attribute.
Being reptomammalian does not mean one has to be a biological anomaly defying all classification methods; however, this is sometimes the case.
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- Mammal-like reptiles on Wikipedia