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Re: attack on dinosaur--horrific video



True, marsupials seem to have been shouldered aside by the placentals in every continent except Australia

I still disagree. In the Cenozoic, the northern continents only ever had ecologically opossum-like metatherians; they managed to enter Africa in the Eocene, and then they died out on all four continents in the late Miocene for unknown reasons (in the cases of North America and Europe, we could blame the climate -- loss of tropical rainforests and all --, but obviously not in the cases of Africa and Asia, and of course today's North American opossum can deal with all temperate climates). In South America there was that impact and mass extinction right before the Great American Interchange, except that for rainforest taxa the interchange may have started much earlier (there was an SVP meeting abstract a few years ago about a 9 Ma old tapir from South America), and even before that, there were only the surviving didelphid, microbiotheriid, and caenolestid marsupials (of which the caenolestids survive in spite of the recent immigration of shrews), the mysterious argyrolagids, and the carnivorous borhyaenoids. Antarctica is a moot question (and in the Eocene, there were South American "ungulates" as well as marsupials and the last gondwanathere on the Antarctic peninsula). That only leaves Australia.


And then of course, kangaroos have broken loose in Europe several times and survived the winters and all, before they were (in each case) all shot by hunters. I'm told they have better digestion than sheep...

And Australia has had rodents since the Miocene. Considering the morphological diversity that rodents have managed to evolve in South America, they could replace several clades of Australian marsupials. Yet they haven't. They didn't even evolve a rabbit analogue the way they did in SA (the mara).

(where the opposite may be true, based on the 'condylarth' _Tingamarra_).

Which, like *Kharmerungulatum*, is "the tooth, the whole tooth, and..."