Definition of metatherian in English:


Pronunciation /ˌmedəˈTHirēən/ /ˌmɛdəˈθɪriən/


  • A mammal of the group Metatheria; a marsupial.

    ‘This order of metatherians contains two species, the marsupial moles (Notoryctes caurinus and Notoryctes typhlops; the status of N. caurinus has been questioned).’
    • ‘The record of Mesozoic metatherians remains negligible or non-existent for southern landmasses, though the Tertiary record has greatly improved.’
    • ‘Recently this pattern of dental development has been hypothesized to be a synapomorphy of metatherians, and has been used to diagnose taxa in the fossil record.’
    • ‘In each case, we used the maximum set of overlapping eutherian and metatherian taxa (appendix); some taxa were chimeric (appendix).’
    • ‘The metatherian opossum was used as an outgroup.’


  • Relating to or denoting metatherians.

    ‘We discuss possible explanations for reduced female recombination in marsupials as a consequence of the metatherian characteristic of determinate paternal X chromosome inactivation.’
    • ‘In contrast, metatherian fossils from the Late Cretaceous are exclusively from Eurasia and North America (which formed the supercontinent Laurasia).’
    • ‘Traditionally, research has been directed at the in-depth comparisons of genome structure between metatherian and eutherian gene maps to better understand genome evolution.’
    • ‘The metatherian opossum was used as an outgroup.’
    • ‘If the metatherian patterns of skull development, tooth replacement and reproduction are correlated, deltatheroideans may already have possessed the basic marsupial reproductive pattern.’