Large-scale public genomic sequencing efforts have provided a wealth of vertebrate sequence data poised to provide insights into mammalian biology. These include deep genomic sequence coverage of human, mouse, rat, zebrafish, and two pufferfish (Fugu rubripes and Tetraodon nigroviridis) (Aparicio et al. 2002; Lander et al. 2001; Venter et al. 2001; Waterston et al. 2002). In addition, a high-priority has been placed on determining the genomic sequence of chimpanzee, dog, cow, frog, and chicken (Boguski 2002). While only recently available, whole genome sequence data have provided the unique opportunity to globally compare complete genome contents. Furthermore, the shared evolutionary ancestry of vertebrate species has allowed the development of comparative genomic approaches to identify ancient conserved sequences with functionality. Accordingly, this review focuses on the initial comparison of available mammalian genomes and describes various insights derived from such analysis.