marco_polo Moderator

A small find here of one of the oldest known primitive marsupials in Europe. The signifigance of the of the find is not due to the impressiveness of the fossils themselves, which consist mainly of a few teeth, but that it that demonstrates that Europe was involved in the early evolution of primative marsupials. Also it provides further evidence of mid-Cretaceous links between Europe and North American.

Arcantiodelphys marchandi improves our knowledge of the earliest stages of the marsupial history, so far known mostly from North American fossils. Its main significance is that the beginning of the marsupial history also involved Europe. Furthermore, it confirms faunal links between North America and Europe during the mid-Cretaceous.

It is from these primitive marsupials from the “Euramerican“ Cretaceous that the modern marsupials colonized the southern landmasses, South America and mainly Australia where they are nowadays well diversified. Opossums and kangaroos are extant representatives of this very old northern origin of the marsupials.

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