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ARTICLE GALLERY


Didelphodon
Didelphodon vorax as it appeared in Walking with Dinosaurs
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Metatheria
Family: Stagodontidae
Genus: Didelphodon
Marsh, 1889
Type species
Didelphodon vorax
Marsh, 1889
Referred species
  • Didelphodon coyi
    (Fox & Naylor, 1986)
  • Didelphodon padanicus
    (Cope, 1892)
  • Didelphodon vorax
    (Marsh, 1889)

Didelphodon was a otter-like marsupial that lived in North America during the Late Cretaceous, 66 million years ago. It was probably an egg thief. It was probably the most successful mammal of the Mesozoic era, from its relatively large size, and its speedy nature.

Description

Although perhaps little larger than a Virginia opossum, with a maximum skull length of 12.21 centimeters (4.81 inches) and a weight of 5 kilograms (11 lbs), Didelphodon was a large mammal by Mesozoic standards. According to the British Broadcasting Company, or BBC, the Didelphodon was about as large as the Cretaceous mammals got, and was probably the largest in North America at that time. Little did our little Didelphodon know, he would be the foundation for the huge marsupials that reigned the Cenozoic.

Discovery

Three species of Didelphodon are known: D. vorax, D. padanicus, and D. coyi.

Classification

Didelphodon is a stagodontid marsupial related to Eodelphis and Pariadens. All with otter-like marsupial natures.

Paleobiology

Although it has been argued on the basis of the shape of referred tarsal bones that Didelphodon and other stagodontids were semiaquatic due to having flexible feet, these traits may in fact be evidence of increased rigidity in the foot.

In popular culture

  • Didelphodon was seen in walking with dinosaurs, portrayed as a tasmianian devil like animal that scavenges similar to a raccoon, and is later shown to raid a Tyrannosaurus nest and scavenges flesh off of a Torosaurus corpse, a likely scene during the Late Cretaceous if we traveled back.

Gallery

Didelphodon/Gallery

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