B chromosomes (Bs) revealed more than a hundred years ago remain to be some of the most mysterious elements of the eukaryotic genome. Their origin and evolution, DNA composition, transcriptional activity, impact on adaptiveness, behavior in meiosis, and transfer to the next generation require intensive investigations using modern methods. Over the past years, new experimental techniques have been applied and helped us gain a deeper insight into the nature of Bs. Here, we consider mammalian Bs, taking into account data on their DNA sequencing, transcriptional activity, positions in nuclei of somatic and meiotic cells, and impact on genome functioning. Comparative cytogenetics of Bs suggests the existence of different mechanisms of their formation and evolution. Due to the long and complicated evolvement of Bs, the similarity of their morphology could be explained by the similar mechanisms involved in their development while the difference between Bs even of the same origin could appear due to their positioning at different stages of their evolution. A complex analysis of their DNA composition and other features is required to clarify the origin and evolutionary history of Bs in the species studied. The intraspecific diversity of Bs makes this analysis a very important element of B chromosome studies.