Meaning of marsupial in English:


Pronunciation /mɑːˈs(j)uːpɪəl/

Translate marsupial into Spanish


  • 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

    ‘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.’
    • ‘Unlike other marsupials, the Tasmanian wolf's pouch was shallow and opened towards the rear of the animal.’
    • ‘The embryo forms an allantoic placenta, as is true of at least some peramelids and koalas but not other marsupials.’
    • ‘Koalas are unusual among marsupials in that they briefly form a placenta during the gestation of their embryos.’
    • ‘In some (but by no means all) species of marsupials, females develop a pouch or marsupium in which the young are nursed.’
    • ‘The diprotodonts, with ten families including 117 species, make up the largest order of marsupials.’
    • ‘The DNA will also be used to establish evolutionary links to modern marsupials in Australia today.’
    • ‘Koalas are Australia's best known tree-dwelling marsupials, coming to the ground only to move from one tree to the next.’
    • ‘The pig-footed bandicoot was one of the very strangest of marsupials.’
    • ‘For unknown reasons, Australia was apparently originally populated entirely by marsupials rather than placental mammals.’
    • ‘When riding around the island, you have to be careful of the multitude of furry marsupials called Quokka's.’
    • ‘Their well-developed pouches open anteriorly, like those of most other marsupials.’
    • ‘Foxes as predators prey on lambs and chickens and kill native small marsupials and rodents.’
    • ‘Australia once had many marsupials much larger than those remaining today.’
    • ‘The cat-size marsupials gained a permanent foothold here by 1858.’
    • ‘During his career of nearly six decades, he published over 600 papers and more than a dozen books, on subjects ranging from Australian marsupials to gorillas.’
    • ‘The invasive species kill birds, small marsupials, amphibians, lizards, and snakes.’
    • ‘These small to medium-sized marsupials all have a dark dorsal stripe that runs from the rump to the head.’


  • Relating to the marsupials.

    ‘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.’
    • ‘Named Akidolestes, the extinct animal had jaws, teeth, and forelimbs that identify it as a close relative of modern placental and marsupial mammals.’
    • ‘Tooth replacement in marsupial mammals differs from the condition generally believed to characterize eutherian mammals.’
    • ‘Placental and marsupial mammals are more closely related to one another than to the third living group of mammals, the monotremes.’
    • ‘Unlike the large cats that have two enlarged canines, marsupial lions had enlarged incisors that were used to stab prey.’
    • ‘Dental development also occurs throughout the period of attachment in other marsupial species.’
    • ‘Tasmania was the last refuge for two large marsupial carnivores.’
    • ‘The Tasmanian Devil is the world's largest marsupial predator but its very survival is at stake as an horrific cancer threatens up to 90% of its population.’
    • ‘This was catastrophic for some of the local animals, especially the big marsupial carnivores.’
    • ‘‘This new fossil provides precious new information, and sheds light on the evolution of all marsupial mammals,’ he said.’
    • ‘Small mammals such as bush rats and marsupial carnivores survived the fires by hiding under boulders and in damp rock crevasses.’
    • ‘The production of a marsupial genetic linkage map is perhaps one of the most important objectives in marsupial research.’
    • ‘Studies on marsupial color vision have been limited to very few species.’
    • ‘Now the Tasmanian Devil is the largest meat-eating marsupial existing today.’
    • ‘The marsupial wolf, now probably extinct, was once widespread in Australia and New Guinea.’
    • ‘Once the female hip-pocket frog, an Australian species also known as the marsupial frog, lays up to 20 white eggs, her work is done.’
    • ‘This marsupial family is restricted to wooded areas of eastern Australia and contains a single living species, the familiar koala.’
    • ‘The marsupial family Tarsipedidae contains a single species, the honey possum or noolbender.’


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