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Re: Marsupial forelimbs... or rather hindlimbs

On Nov 26, 2007 3:22 PM, Andreas Johansson <andreasj@gmail.com> wrote:
> I should have said "suffocates". As near as I can tell from the
> Wikipedia article, the watertight pouch of the yapok keeps the young
> dry, but it doesn't supply it with oxygen, which would presumably be
> necessary for full-time aquaticity.

Good point. I wonder what the maximum diving time for a female yapok
with babies in the pouch is.

> (I'm not certain exactly what Weisbecker et al. mean by "fully
> aquatic", but full-time aquaticity in the style of sirenians and
> cetaceans is one placentalian guild that has no marsupial analogs to
> my knowledge.)


Incidentally, it kind of seems that marsupial pouches would be
*better* for a flying guild than placentalian clinging. And there are
several lineages of gliding marsupials--it does seem odd that none of
them have developed flight. (Although, given the rarity of amniote
flight, especially amniote flight derived from skin-gliding, maybe
luck has something to do with it.)

T. Michael Keesey
Director of Technology
Exopolis, Inc.
2894 Rowena Avenue Ste. B
Los Angeles, California 90039