A pouch that protects eggs, offspring, or reproductive structures, especially the pouch of a female marsupial mammal.
- ‘In some (but by no means all) species of marsupials, females develop a pouch or marsupium in which the young are nursed.’
- ‘A marsupium is present and opens to the rear.’
- ‘The eggs are carried by the female in an open marsupium.’
- ‘Members of this family have a well developed marsupium that opens anteriorly.’
- ‘Their marsupium is well developed, opens to the rear, and contains only 2 teats.’
Mid 17th century: via Latin from Greek marsupion, diminutive of marsipos purse.