December 12, 2017

Marsupials

Kangaroo

One common marsupial is the Kangaroo

Marsupials are a type of mammal common to Australia and nearby islands. They are unique from other mammals in that the female marsupial has a pouch in which she carries and nurses her young. The pouch or marsupium is basically a fold of skin that covers the mother’s nipples and protects the infant. Marsupials are born in a very under-developed state. When the newborn emerges from the mother’s birth canal, it crawls into the pouch and latches onto the mother’s nipples. Baby marsupials remain in the pouch from birth through early infancy.

There are about 334 species of marsupial. Over 200 of these are native to Australia and neighboring islands. The most commonly known marsupials are the Kangaroo, Koala, Wallaby, Wombat, Tasmanian Devil, Bandicoot, and Opossum. There are also about 100 species in South America, 13 in Central America, and one species in North America. The only marsupial native to North America is the Virginia Opossum.

Interested in learning more about marsupials, see the Kidport Marsupial Reference Library, and the Kidport Marsupial Video Collection.

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