What is a marsupial?

Even if you don’t know what a marsupial is, you’ve probably heard of them. These animals include many well-known species

Despite their unique traits, marsupials are mammals:

  • Have fur
  • Warm blooded (endothermic)
  • Give birth to their babies alive

However, marsupials have many different traits that make them unique from the average mammal

  • Babies are born only a few weeks after conception (4 to 5 weeks) and are the size of a jelly bean
  • After their birth, baby marsupials crawl into their mothers pouch where they nurse until they develop fully
  • The baby will continue to use the pouch for safety and warmth until it no longer fits in the pouch

Marsupials live in more limited areas than their Higher Mammal counter-parts, and can be found in only a few specific places

  • Australia
  • New Guinea
  • North America and South America (opossums however, are the only marsupial to be found in these regions)

Marsupials are a diverse animal and have many different diets, shapes and behaviors

  • Red Kangaroo (the largest marsupial )
  • Tasmanian Devil (the largest marsupial carnivore)
  • Long-Tailed Planigale (the smallest marsupial)

Keep Exploring Defenders!