adjective \mär-ˈsü-pē-əl\

Definition of MARSUPIAL

:  of, relating to, or being a marsupial
:  of, relating to, or forming a marsupium

First Known Use of MARSUPIAL




: a type of animal (such as a kangaroo or an opossum) that carries its babies in a pocket of skin on the mother's stomach

Full Definition of MARSUPIAL

:  any of an order (Marsupialia) of mammals comprising kangaroos, wombats, bandicoots, opossums, and related animals that do not develop a true placenta and that usually have a pouch on the abdomen of the female which covers the teats and serves to carry the young


New Latin Marsupialia, from marsupium
First Known Use: circa 1835


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any mammal of the infraclass Marsupialia, characterized by premature birth and continued development outside the womb. The young remain attached to the mother's teats for a period corresponding to the late stages of fetal development of a placental mammal. More than 170 species (e.g., bandicoots, kangaroos, koalas, wombats) are found in Australia, New Guinea, and nearby islands. About 65 species of opossum occur in the Americas and seven species of ratlike marsupials in South America. Many species have a pouch (marsupium), a fold of skin covering the nipples on the mother's lower belly, where the young continue their development.


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