Chapter

Marsupialia

Gregg F. Gunnell

in Cenozoic Mammals of Africa

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780520257214
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520945425 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520257214.003.0006
Marsupialia

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The fossil record of pouched mammals (cohort Marsupialia) in Africa is extremely limited, although it could be relatively ancient if a tooth described as a marsupial from the Cretaceous of Madagascar truly represents the cohort. Crochet (1984) suggested that the African radiation of marsupials must have extended into the Turonian (late Cretaceous), but there is no fossil evidence outside of the Madagascar tooth to lend support to this contention. The Cenozoic record of African marsupials is nearly as limited as that of the Mesozoic. Proposed records include samples from the North African early Eocene (Tunisia and Algeria), late Eocene (Egypt), early Oligocene (Egypt), and from the Arabian peninsula, early Oligocene (Oman). The only confirmed occurrence of a marsupial in the African Cenozoic is that of Peratherium africanum from Quarry M in the Jebel Qatrani Formation, Fayum Depression, Egypt. This chapter describes the systematic paleontology of Marsupialia.

Keywords: Peratherium africanum; pouched mammals; Marsupialia; Africa; marsupials; Cenozoic; Egypt; Eocene; Oligocene; paleontology

Chapter.  2170 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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