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The subclass Prototheria contains the egg-laying mammals, which are the most ancestral forms in the class

Mammalia. Prototherians are so unique among mammals that there is little question that they represent a distinct and ancient branch of the mammalian family tree.

Monotremes are restricted to Australia and New Guinea. b) Their fossil record is very poor; the earliest fossil attributed to this group is from the early Cretaceous. c) A fossil from Argentina suggests that the monotremes were more widely distributed early in their history.

Order : Monotremata Families : Ornithorhynchidae & Tachyglossidae Monotypic genera: Tachyglossus, Zaglossus &


*There are only five living monotreme species : the duckbilled platypus and four species of echidna (a.k.a. Spiny anteaters)

Ornithorhynchus anatinus

Webbed feet

Beaver like tail

Electro-sensitive bill Flat, streamlined body

Strong swimmer but not fast

Have a muzzle that is shaped like the bill of a duck Its fur is some of the waterproof in the animal kingdom

The platypus is found in Eastern Australia in freshwater

streams and rivers


One of the two egg-laying mammal

Young platypus are weaned at five months old

Also referred to as Spiny anteater

Echidnas are generally found all over Australia and New Guinea. They can survive a range of temperatures and habitats. Though mostly nocturnal, in mild weather they can be seen during the day, but if the weather is extreme (either very cold or hot) Echidnas will stay in shelter (under rocks, fallen timber or burying themselves in the ground) . There are four species of Echidna. Three of these exclusively resides in New Guinea and belong to the Zaglossus genera. These includes : Western long-beaked, Sir Davids Long-beaked & Eastern Long-beaked.The fourth species belongs to the tachyglossus genus which resides throughout Australia and on New Guinea is the: Short-beaked Echidna.

35- 45 cm long

Weighs about 2-7 kg

Pointy snout Sharp claws for digging

Extremely long sticky tongue

Has two types of hair , one type is a normal short coarse

hair and the other one is a long sharp spine (fingernail-like hardness).

Echidnas are found all over Australia from the highlands to deserts to forests The Echidna has no fixed home except when the female is suckling its young. Echidnas can be found in a variety of shelters from rocks to fallen wood, small caves, or even under bushes .

The Echidnas main requirement is a large supply of ants and termites. They normally eat at night. The tip of its snout or nose is sensitive to electrical signals from an insect body thus it searches and "sniffs" out ant and termite nests. Echidnas then normally tears into the mound or nest with its sharp claws (front feet) and its snout exposing the ants or termites and then catching them with its fast flicking sticky tongue. Because they have no teeth the Echidna crushes the insects between horny pads in its mouth.

Female echidna develops a pouch during the mating season. After mating, the female digs a burrow and lays one soft leathery egg in her pouch. That takes 10 days to hatch and then stays in the pouch. Once spines develops on the young, its evicted from the pouch and stays in the burrow. *Baby Echidna is called Puggle.

Metatheria , also known as Marsupials, comprise 9 orders, 23 families and around 330 species. Most of these species are concentrated in Australasia but some 100 odd species are also found in the America. These animals have usually been in competition with Eutherians and have given ground in areas where both had to fight for the same ecological niche

Most marsupials are found today in Australasia(200 species) and the rest are usually found in South and Central America. Metatherians are highly adapted creatures and today most of them are to be found in Australasia while some species hold out against the onslaught of their eutherian cousins in Central and South America.

Marsupials has seven orders, namely : a) Dasyuromorphia (dasyuroid marsupials & marsupial carnivores) b) Didelphimorphia (American marsupials) c) Diprotodontia (kangaroos, possums, wallabies, and relatives) d) Microbiotheria (monito del monte) e) Notoryctemorphia (marsupial moles) f) Paucituberculata (shrew opossums) g) Peramelemorphia (bandicoots and bilbies)

This comprises most carnivorous marsupials, including quolls, dunnarts, numbat, Tasmanian Devil, and the recently extinct Thylacine. The only exceptions are the omnivorous bandicoots (order Peramelemorphia) and the marsupial moles . There are three families: one with just a single member, one with only extinct members, including the late "Tasmanian Tiger" (Thylacine - Thylacinus cynocephalus), and one, Dasyuridae, with about 70 members.

Typically between about 15 or 20 grams and about 2

kilograms from the size of a domestic mouse to that of a small domestic cat

Tasmanian Devil Sarcophilus harrisii

Southern Dibbler Parantechinus apicalis

Tasmanian Tiger Thylacinus cynocephalus (extinct)

Contains the common opossums of the western hemisphere. They tend to be semi-arboreal omnivores, although there are many exceptions. Most members of this taxon have long snouts, a narrow braincase, and a prominent sagittal crest. Didelphimorphs have a plantigrade stance (feet flat on the ground).


Found all over America

Small to medium in body size

Have full compliment of teeth Most are omnivores and carnivores

Found mostly in habitats from sea level to over 300m

Paucitubercolata species have a unique feature in that each incisor has only one cusp or protruding bump on its crown. This is most unlike other mammal species hence the name which means "tuber teeth".


About 9-14 cm long

Lives in underground burrows and surface runways Have poor eyesight thus uses its hearign and highly

sensitive whiskers to hunt for prey

Paucitubercolata lives in inaccessible forest and grassland regions of the High Andes . Other insectivores were entirely absent from South America until the Great American Interchange three million years ago, and are currently present only in the northwestern part of the continent. Shrew opossums have lost ground to the these and other placental invaders that fill the same ecological niches. Nevertheless, the ranges of shrew opossums and insectivores overlap broadly.


This order of marsupials Microbiotheria that means "little wild animal contains only one family (Microbiotheridae) with one living species - Dromiciops australis, common name "monito del monte", translated into English as little mountain monkey.

Peculiar skull

Premaxillae is elongated
Nasal is extended posteriorly Well developed marsupium or pouch

Long tailed (tail serves as fat storage for hibernation)

Monitos del monte live in dense, humid vegetation in the mountains of southern Chile and Argentina. They have a special liking for thickets of bamboo. Monitos del monte are primarily insectivorous, feeding in the trees as well as on the ground, but they also consume vegetation.

The name of this order combines two words notos (of the south) and oruktes(one who digs). This order is represented by 1 family containing a single genus and species, Notoryctes typhlops; although some scientists (typically, bickering among themselves) recognize a second species, Notorcytes caurinus.

They are blind

Female pouch is backward facing

Nose has a rubbery shield to protect it in case it

bumps against something hard than the sand

Diprotodontia are distinguished by their large, front teeth. The name of this order is derived from the words "protos" and "odontos", meaning two teeth. This order is chock full of herbivores and includes many species high in the scale of cuteness, including but not limited to Koalas, hare wallabies and tree kangaroos. They all originated sometime around 25 million years ago and have weathered the change in the Australian landscape from lush forests to scrub deserts with some panache.

The name of this order means pouched badger-shaped animal. The name of this order means pouched badger-shaped animal.

Look across between a rabbit and a rat

Pouches opens backward

Their forefeet have three toes Ranges from 7-23 inches

Geographically located at Australia