Definition of marsupial in English:

marsupial

Line breaks: mar|su¦pial
Pronunciation: /mɑːˈsuːpɪəl
 
/
Zoology

noun

  • A mammal of an order whose members are born incompletely developed and are typically carried and suckled in a pouch on the mother’s belly. Marsupials are found chiefly in Australia and New Guinea, and also in America.
    • Order Marsupialia and infraclass Metatheria, subclass Theria
    More example sentences
    • So the extension of the term ‘marsupial’ is the set of all marsupials: kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, and so on.
    • In South America and Australia, however, marsupials continued to be an important group of land mammals.
    • The egg-laying platypus and its cousin, the anteater, along with marsupials, make up the most primitive group of living mammals.

adjective

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  • Relating to the marsupials.
    More example sentences
    • The homology of the teeth in the marsupial dentition has been controversial and there are several alternate nomenclatures.
    • Many of the extinct marsupial megafauna were large, herbivorous browsers, some weighing several tons.
    • When we studied all the patterns of amino-acid replacement and silent substitution, we discovered several replacements that all placental and marsupial mammals share.

Origin

late 17th century (in the sense 'resembling a pouch'): from modern Latin marsupialis, via Latin from Greek marsupion 'pouch' (see marsupium).

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