Trisha Shetty (Editor)


Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit

Scientific name

Higher classification




Gestation period
Tasmanian devil: 21 days

Tasmanian devil: 13 km/h

Dasyuromorphia pre04deviantartnet0f5bthprei2011089bdda

Tasmanian devil: 8 kg, Thylacine: 30 kg

Lower classifications
Dasyurids, Quoll, Thylacinus, Antechinus

The order Dasyuromorphia (meaning "hairy tail") comprises most of the Australian carnivorous marsupials, including quolls, dunnarts, the numbat, the Tasmanian devil, and the thylacine. In Australia, the exceptions include the omnivorous bandicoots (order Peramelemorphia) and the marsupial moles (which eat meat but are very different and are now accorded an order of their own, Notoryctemorphia). Numerous South American species of marsupials (orders Didelphimorphia, Paucituberculata, and Microbiotheria) are also carnivorous.


Dasyuromorphia Mammalsruscom Dasyuromorphia

There are four families: one with just a single living species (the numbat), two with only extinct species (including the thylacine and Malleodectes), and one, the Dasyuridae, with about 70 living members.

Dasyuromorphia Carnivorous Marsupials amp Numbats Order Dasyuromorphia


Dasyuromorphia Mammalsruscom Dasyuromorphia

Unlike herbivores, which tend to become highly specialized for particular ecological niches and diversify greatly in form, carnivores tend to be broadly similar to one another, certainly on the level of gross external form. Just as Northern Hemisphere carnivores like cats, foxes and weasels are much more alike in structure than, for example, camels, goats, pigs and giraffes, so too are the marsupial predators constrained to retain general-purpose, look-alike forms—forms which mirror those of placental carnivores. The names given to them by early European settlers reflect this: the thylacine was called the Tasmanian tiger, quolls were called native cats, and so on.

Dasyuromorphia Order Dasyuromorphia

The primary specialisation among marsupial predators is that of size: prior to the massive environmental changes that came about with the arrival of humans about 50,000 years ago, there were several very large carnivores, none of them members of the Dasyuromorphia and all of them now extinct. Those that survived into historical times ranged from the wolf-sized thylacine to the tiny long-tailed planigale which at 4 to 6 grams is less than half the size of a mouse. Most, however, tend towards the lower end of the size scale, typically between about 15 or 20 grams and about 2 kilograms, or from the size of a domestic mouse to that of a small domestic cat.


To provide context, the table below also shows the other major branches of the Australasian marsupial tree.

Dasyuromorphia Dasyuromorphia quolls dunnarts numbats Tasmanian devils

  • Order Microbiotheria: (1 species, the monito del monte of South America)
  • Order Dasyuromorphia
  • Family †Thylacinidae
  • †Thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus)
  • Family Dasyuridae (72 species in 20 genera)
  • Subfamily Dasyurinae: quolls, kowari, mulgara, little red kaluta, dibblers, phascogales, antechinuses, pseudantechinuses, and the Tasmanian devil
  • Subfamily Sminthopsinae: dunnarts, the kultarr, planigales and ningaui
  • Family Myrmecobiidae
  • Numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus)
  • Family †Malleodectidae
  • Genus †Malleodectes
  • Order Peramelemorphia (21 species: rainforest bandicoots, bandicoots, and bilbies)
  • Order Notoryctemorphia (2 species of marsupial mole)
  • Order Diprotodontia (about 137 species in 11 families, including the koala, wombats, possums, potoroos, kangaroos, wallabies and others.)

  • Dasyuromorphia card6613647frontjpg


    Dasyuromorphia Wikipedia

    Similar Topics