Why Are Marsupials So Special?

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Marsupials are unique among other types of mammals because of the way they raise their young. Marsupials carry their young in special pouches for several years following the birth of their young. Many well-known marsupials live in Australia, and more than 200 species of these special mammals live in Australia or surrounding countries. Here are some cute-looking marsupials, some of which you may recognize.



The red kangaroo from Australia is the world’s largest marsupial out of more than 330 total species on the planet. Babies, called joeys, may live in their mother’s pouch for several months.


Koalas are another famous marsupial species from Australia. These little gray guys munch on eucalyptus leaves for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.



The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial native to North America. These animals live in trees and only come out at night. There are 60 types of opossum on Earth, including species in South America, Central America, Indonesia, and Australia.



Numbats have white stripes on their backs and have similar coloring to white-tail deer.



The long-nose potoroo looks like a cross between a rat and a kangaroo.

Tasmanian Devil


As the name implies, Tasmanian devils live on the island of Tasmania in southeastern Australia. They generally don’t move around in a tornado-like pattern like the Looney Tunes character.

Sugar Glider


Sugar gliders are adorable grey marsupials with soft toes and big eyes. They are excellent climbers.



Quokka appear as if they are groundhogs mixed with kangaroos. The coat looks like a groundhog’s, but the stature and long tail resemble a kangaroo’s. These animals are close in size to a groundhog, though.

Ringtail Possum


Ringtail possum have long whiskers and mouse-like ears with the wide eyes of a sugar glider.



Wallabies live only in Australia. They are close cousins to kangaroos.

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