Ancient marsupials lived in packs

Published on May 10th, 2011 | by Admin


Nowadays, marsupials are solitary creatures (except for Kangaroos), but newly discovered fossils show that millions of years ago they lived in packs.

The animals are quite similar to modern marsupials such as the opossum. They seem to have all died at the same time, possibly during a flash flood or other natural catastrophe.

“In extant (currently living) marsupials, it’s something very unusual to have so many individuals together,” Ladev√®ze told LiveScience. “They are very territorial and live in isolated areas.”

Of the bones found, the researchers were able to identify 12 of the animals as fully grown females, because they had smaller frames. Six more were full-grown males, with larger heads and bodies and pronounced canine teeth. The other five were juveniles.

[Full story]

Story: Jennifer Welsh, LiveScience | Photo: Lemzaouda/MNHN

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