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The Evolution of ORDER DIPROTODONTIA

BIO 140 F Group 1 September 14, 2011

CLASS MAMMALIA
INFRACLASS MARSUPIALIA

SUBCLASS THERIA

MARSUPIALS
With

mammalian characteristics

Warm-blooded (+) Mammary glands (+) Fur Viviparous Dentition for mechanical digestion

MARSUPIALS
Bear

live, imature young in their marsupium.

MARSUPIALS
First appeared during the Late Cretaceous in North America

Most species found in Australia

PALEONTOLOGICAL

HISTORY

Sinodelphys szalayi
125mya (Early Cretaceous Period) Believed to be an early ancestor of marsupials

Alphadon
Earliest marsupial recorded Remains found in North America 80 mya

(Cretaceous Period)

Late Oligocene
1st Diprotodontia fossil uncovered

Hypsiprymnodon bartholomaii
Earliest

identified species
(Early Miocene)

Diprotodon
Extinct, giant

marsupial Closely related to kangaroos Fossil found in Australia

Diprotodon
Herbivorous Used all four legs for walking About as big as a Rhinoceros Diprotodon australis only known species

Nototherium
Also

a giant marsupial Related to Diprotodon Bones often found with Diprotodon

SYSTEMATICS AND PHYLOGENY

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA
Divided

into 10 families; one extinct

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA
Family Pseudocheiridae (ringtails and gliders)

Family Acrobatidae (feathertail gliders)

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA
Family

Vombatidae (wombats)
With allantoic placentae Well-developed marsupium
(posterior orientation)

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA
Family

Macropodidae
(kangaroos)

Embryonic diapause
Blastocyst suspends implantation and development

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA
F. Macropodidae

Females support young of 3 litters


Uterus Full-time in pouch; attached to nipple Out of pouch but returning to nurse

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA
F. Macropodidae

Longest

and strongest toe 4th toe in hind feet

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA
Family

Potoridae
(bettongs, pottoroos, and rat-kangaroos)

DIET: fungi Closely allied with kangaroos and wallabies

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA

Family Phascolarctidae (koalas)

Only one extant species Endemic in Australia

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA

F. Phascolarctidae

Briefly

forms placenta during gestation of embryo Co-evolved with Eucalyptus

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA

Family Phalangeridae
(Possums and Cuscuses) DIET: Tree

leaves

marsupium welldeveloped (anterior opening) Single young per litter

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA
Family

Tarsipedidae (honey possums)


DIET: Nectar

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA
Family Burramyidae (Pygmy Possums)

AND DIVERSIFICATION

MORPHOLOGY

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA
Largest

order of marsupials Basic characteristics:


Enlarged lower incisor that project forward Absence of canine teeth Integument that binds together 2nd and 3rd digits of hind feet Diverse in size, diet and method of locomotion.

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA
Gondwanaland

origin of mammals with distinctive marsupial reproduction Marsupial ancestors and placentals separated and became isolated in South America and Australia

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA
Found

in Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and nearby islands Inhabit a variety of terrestrial habitats:
Grasslands Forests mountains

ORDER DIPROTODONTIA
Evolved

to suit or adapt to a wide variety of environments Homologous adaptations marsupials and placental mammals Introduced placental mammals in Australia poses a threat to the marsupials

O. DIPROTODONTIA

FATE OF

AND OTHER MARSUPIALS

In a few years
Human

protection = no marsupial extinction Established induced placental mammals = competition = marsupial extinction Co-existence between marsupials and placentals possible

In the formation of a new supercontinent (200 my from now)


Dispersal

of marsupials to new habitats Possible marsupial evolution for adaptation

Thank you!