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782
MARSUPIALIA


first to the fourth, with square crowns, each bearing four pyramidal cusips. The lower incisors are partially inclined forwards, compressed an tapering, bevelled at the ends. Cheek-teeth in 'continuous series, as in the upper jaw. F ore-feet with the two inner toes slightly separated from and opposable to the remainin three, all with strong curved and much compressed claws. Hind-Enot (fig. Io) with the first toe placed far back, large

1- and broad, the second and third ~ (united) toes considerable smaller than the other two; the fburth the

largest. No external tail. Fur dense and woolly. Ears of moderate size,

thickly clothed with long hair.

Caecum very long and dilated, with


numerous folds. Vertebrae
C. 7,

D. 11, L. 8, S. 2, Ca. 8. Ribs eleven pairs (see KOALA).

- Here may be noticed three genera

of large extinct marsupials from

the Pleistocene of Australia whose

affinities appear to ally them to

- the Wombat-group on the one hand

and to the phalangers on the other.

The longest known is Diprotodon,

an animal of the size of a rhinoceros, with a dental formula of i. if, c. 3, p. }, m. 2, total 28. The first upper incisor very large and chisel-like,

molars with prominent transverse

ridges, as in Macropus, but without

the longitudinal connecting ridge.

Complete skeletons disinterred by

Dr E. C. Stirling indicate that in the structure of the feet this creature

presents resemblances both to the

wombats and the phalangers, but

to the latter. On the other hand,

the considerably smaller Natotherium, characterized by its sharp and broad skull and smaller incisors, seems to have been much more Wombat-like, and may perhaps have possessed similar burrowing habits.

The last of the three is Thylacoleo carnifecc, so named on account of its supposed carnivorous habits. In the adult the dentition (fig. II) is i. 1}, c. 5, p.+m. g, total 2%. The first upper incisor is much larger than the others; canine and rst two premolars rudimentary. In the lower jaw there are also one or two small and early deciduous premolars; third premolars of both jaws formed on the same type as that of the rat-kangaroos, but relatively much laréger; molars rudimentary, tubercular. The functional teeth are re uced to one 3 .

FIG. 10.-Skeleton of Right

Hind-Foot of Koala (Phascolarctus

cinereus), showing

stout opposable hallux, followed

by two slender toes,

which in the living animal are

enclosed as far as the nails in

a common integument.

is nearer to the former than


From Flower, Quart. Joufn, Geal. Soc. FIG. 1 1.-Front view of Skull of Thylacoleo carnifex, restored. pair of large cutting incisors situated close to the middle line, and one great, cutting, compressed premolar, on each side above and below. As already mentioned, Thylacoleo was originally regarded as a carnivorous creature, but this view was subsequently disputed, and its diet supposed to consist of soft roots, bulbs and fruits, with an occasional small bird or mammal. Recently, however, the pendulum of opinion has swung back towards the original view: and Dr R. Broom believes Thylacoleo to have been “ a purely carnivorous animal, and one which would be quite able to, and probably did, kill animals as large or larger than itself.” The affinities of the creature are clearly with the phalangers. By means of the little musk-kangaroo, the cuscuses and phalangers constituting the family Phalangeridae, are so closely connected with the kangaroos, or Macropodidae, that in the opinion of some naturalists they ought all to be included in a single family, with three sub-families. Theoretically, no doubt, this is correct, but the typical members of the two groups are so different from one another that, as a matter of convenience, the retention of the two families seems advisable. From the Phascolomyidae, the two families, which may be collectively designated Phalangeroidea, differ by the circumstance that in the skull the tympanic process of the alisphenoid covers the tympanic cavity and reaches-the par occipital process. The tail is long and in some cases prehensile; the first hind-toe may be either large, small or absent; the dentition usually includes three pairs of upper and one of lower incisors, and six or seven pairs of cheekteet in each jaw; the stomach is either simple or sacculated, without a cardiac gland; and there are four teats. With the exception of the aberrant long-snouted phalanger, the members of the family Phalangeridae have the normal number of functional incisors, in addition to which there may be one or two rudimentary pairs in the lower jaw. The first in the upper jaw is strong, curved and cutting, the other two generally somewhat smaller;, the single lower functional incisor large, more or less inclined forwards; canines 5:7-5, upper small or moderate, conical and sharp-pointed; lower absent or rudimentary; premolars variable; molars § , or Q, with four obtuse tubercles, sometimes forming crescents. Limbs subequal. Fore-feet with five distinct subequal toes with claws. Hind-feet short and broad, with five well developed toes; the first large, nailless and opposable; the second and third slender and united by a common integument as far as the claws. Caecum present (except in T arsipes), and usually large. From Gould.

Fig. 12.-The Long-snouted Phalanger (Tarsipes rostratus). The lower jaw has no pocket on the outer side. All are animals of small or moderate size and arboreal habits, feeding on a vegetable or mixed diet, and inhabiting Australia, Papua and the Moluccan Islands.

As the first example of the group may be taken the ele ant little long-snouted phalanger (Tarsipes rostralus, fig. 12), a west Australian creature of the size of a mouse, which may be regarded as representing by itself a sub-family (Tarsipediinae), characterized by the rudimentary teeth, the long and ex tensile tongue, and absence of a caecum. The head is elongated, with a slender muzzle and the mouth-opening small. The two lower incisors are long, Very slender, sharp-pointed and horizontally placed. All the other teeth are simple, conical, minute and placed at considerable and irregular intervals apart in the jaws, the number appearing to vary in different individuals and even on different sides of the jaw of the same individuals.

The formula in one specimen was Li, cl-1, p.-I-mg; total 20. The lower j-aw is slender, nearly straight, and without a coronoid process or inflected angle. Fore-feet with five well-developed toes, carrying small, flat, scale-like nails, not reaching the extremity of the digits. Hind-feet rather long and slender, with a well-developed opposable and nailless first toe;