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Temporal range: Paleocene – Holocene 65–0 mya
|Present-day distribution of marsupials.|
Marsupials have a special pouch where they carry their joeys. After the birth the joey goes into its mother's pouch, where it can drink milk and is kept warm and safe. When the joeys are young they stay in the pouch all the time, but when they are older they can leave it for short times. When they are old enough and too big for the pouch they do not go into their mother's pouch anymore.
They were outcompeted on Laurasia by placental mammals, but the placentals did not get into the Australasian part of Gondwana before it broke away into a separate supercontinent. That is why marsupials now found native only on the southern continents of Australasia and South and Central America, with the single exception of the Virginia opossum.
List of Marsupials
The extinct genus Yalkaparidon (Order Yalkaparidontia) is a bizarre fossil found in the Oligocene/Miocene deposits of Riversleigh, NE Australia. Its teeth are so strange that palaeontologists call it a 'Thingodont'.
No longer marsupial
- Marsupialia is the alternative name.
- Nilsson M.A. et al 2010. Tracking marsupial evolution using archaic genomic retroposon insertions. PLoS Biology. 8 (7): 
- Rincon, Paul (2003-12-12). "Rincon P. 2003. Oldest marsupial ancestor found.". BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3311911.stm. Retrieved 2010-03-16.
- "Pickrell J. 2003. Oldest marsupial fossil found in China.". News.nationalgeographic.com. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/12/1215_031215_oldestmarsupial.html. Retrieved 2010-03-16.
- "Vertebrate Paleontology: Sinodelphys szalayi". Carnegie Museum of Natural History. http://www.carnegiemnh.org/vp/sinodelphys.html. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- Of course, any animal or plant can be moved by man, and many have been. In biology, the word 'native' means 'occurs naturally in that region'.
- Tyndale-Biscoe C.H. (2005). Life of marsupials. Collingwood, Vic: CSIRO. . http://google.com/books?id=KqtlPZJ9y8EC&printsec=frontcover.
- Archer M; Hand, Suzanne J. & Godthelp H. 1991. Australia's lost world: Riversleigh, World Heritage Site. Reed, Sydney. p94 "Thingodonta: off the scale of the unexpected".
- Argot, Christine 2004. Evolution of South American mammalian predators (Borhyaenoidea): anatomical and palaeobiological implications. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 140, 487-521.
- Naish, Darren (2008). "Invasion of the marsupial weasels, dogs, cats and bears... or is it?". Tetrapod Zoology. http://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology/2008/06/borhyaenoids_intro.php. Retrieved 2008-12-07.