Discovery of marsupials

Mahlon G. Kelly mgk at darwin.clas.Virginia.EDU
Wed Sep 20 00:16:45 EST 1995

doslic at  writes:
>   Hi,
>   I would like to know when Europeans first discovered marsupials. Which 
>   animal was the first marsupial known to European science? What was it's
>   taxonomic position? And in which way discovery of marsupials affected
>   established taxonomic schemes?
>   TIA
>   Tomislav Doslic

I believe it must have been the American opossum. I believe
(but am not certain) it was described by Linneaus. Since the
first Europeans in America would have seen it, long before any
in Australia, it must have been the first.
Associate Professor (Emeritus)
University of Virginia
mgk at

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