Marsupialia


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Related to Marsupialia: marsupial, Metatheria, Monotremata, Insectivora

Marsupialia

An order of animals, long considered the only order of the mammalian infraclass Metatheria.

The marsupials are characterized by the presence of a pouch (marsupium) in the female, a skin pocket whose teat-bearing abdominal wall is supported by epipubic bones. The young are born in the embryonic state and crawl unaided to the marsupium, where they attach themselves to the teats and continue their development. In a few species the pouch is vestigial or has disappeared completely.

A wide variety of terrestrial adaptations are found among the 82 genera of living marsupials. Some spectacular examples of evolution convergent upon placental modes of life are exemplified by the Australian marsupial “moles” (Notoryctes), “wolves” (Thylacinus), and “flying squirrels” (Petaurus). For the most part, the adaptive radiation of the marsupials has paralleled that of the placentals, yielding many ecological analogs, such as kangaroos and wallabies, which are the counterparts of the placental deer and antelopes, although these groups differ widely in structure. See Anteater, Eutheria, Kangaroo, Koala, Mammalia, Metatheria, Opossum

Marsupialia

[mär‚sü·pē′ā·lē·ə]
(vertebrate zoology)
The single order of the mammalian infraclass Metatheria, characterized by the presence of a marsupium in the female.
References in periodicals archive ?
1993: Results of radio-tracking eastern barred bandicoots Perameles gunnii (Marsupialia: Peramelidae) at Gellibrand Hill Park, Victoria.--Australian Mammalogy 16: 51-54.
Un caso parecido es aquel de los canguros (Marsupialia).
The chromosomes of the didelphidae (Marsupialia) and their evolutionary significance.
Short J, Bradshaw SD, Giles J, Prince RIT (1992) Reintroduction of macropods (Marsupialia: Macropodoidea) in Australia--a review.
The complete mitochondrial genome of the wallaroo (Macropus robustus) and the phylogenetic relationship among Monotremata, Marsupialia, and Eutheria.
The systematics of the genus Didelphis (Marsupialia: Didephidae) in North and Middle America.
A simulation study of the impacts of population subdivision on the mountain brushtail possum, Trichosurus caninus, Ogilby (Phalangeridae: Marsupialia) in south-esatern Australia.
Development of the middle ear region in Monodelphis domestica (Marsupialia, Didelphidae): marsupial solutions to early birth.
Kutt AS, Van Dyck S and Christie SJ (2005) A significant range extension for the Chestnut Dunnart Sminthopsis archeri (Marsupialia: Dasyuridae) in north Queensland.