Reproductive Biology of South American Marsupials

  • John D. Harder


Although South America is not well known for its marsupials, it rivals Australia as an important place of evolution and diversity for this group. Marsupialia is the third largest order of South American mammals, after rodents and bats. Approximately 78 marsupial species inhabit South America, representing roughly 10% of its terrestrial mammalian diversity (Kirsch 1977; Streilein 1982), and, although only three of the 15 marsupial families are found in South America, together they represent about 30% of the world’s total of 250 species. In fact, marsupials are found only in the Australian and Neotropical regions with a single species, the Virginia opossum Didelphis virginiana, in the Nearctic (temperate North America).


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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1992

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  • John D. Harder

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