Marsupials | Marsupialia
Marsupials are mammals characterized by the pouch the mother has for raising and protecting her young, also known as joeys. Marsupials are most commonly associated with Austrailia, because that’s where the well-known Kangaroos and Koalas are found, but marsupials, specifically the opposum, are also found in North, Central, and South America. Some species of marsupials are herbivores, while others are insectivores or carnivores. Marsupials typically live alone, except in the mating season, and the females will raise the joeys alone. Most marsupial mothers, expect for the Kangaroo and Koala, give birth to multiple young at a time. Marsupials play an important role in their environment: they spread seeds, pollinates, eat pests and vermin, and can aid the creation of habitats for other creatures by helping to loosen up soil for burrowing animals.
A marsupials’ diet depends on its species, teeth, and habitat. Marsupials can be omnivores, herbivores, carnivores, or insectivores. For example, bandicoots, Australian possums, and American opossums are omnivores, while wombat, kangaroos, and koalas are herbivores. Marsupials typically eat bugs, smaller mammals, birds, fruit, seeds, and eucalyptus leaves.
Marsupials have pouches that are essential for the well-being of their offspring. After birth marsupials climb into the pouch and then latch into their mother’s nipple. The offspring continues to develop for 6 months inside pouch after birth, and receives the nursing and care required to later survive on its own.
Marsupials live in Australia, as well as North, Central, and South America. They are not picky with their habitats. They typically live in forests, savannas, and shrublands. Some species of marsupials live in desert-like habitats while some live in burrows.