One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Treated as plural. An order of mammals comprising forms which lack a complete placenta and give birth to very immature young which complete their development while attached to the mother's mammae, typically located in a protective abdominal pouch.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Henry McMurtrie (1793–1865). From scientific Latin Marsupialia from post-classical Latin marsupialis + -a.
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