Marsupials are an infraclass of mammals living primarily in Australasia and the New World. A distinctive characteristic, common to most species, is that the young are carried in a pouch.
Well-known marsupials include kangaroos, wallabies, the koala, opossums (colloquially possums) , wombats and the Tasmanian devil. Less well-known species of marsupials include the numbat, bandicoots, bettongs, the bilby, quolls and the quokka.
They are characterized by giving birth to relatively undeveloped young, often residing in a pouch with the mother for a certain time after birth.
The birth of a kangaroo
Close to 70% of the 334 extant species occur in Australia, New Guinea, and nearby islands, with the remaining 100 found in the Americas, primarily in South America, but with 13 in Central America, and one in North America north of Mexico.
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Some marsupials, like the wombat and Tasmanian Devil , have pouches that
open backwards to avoid getting the pouch contaminated by sand and dirt during digging their burrows.
|Possum feeding by night.|