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Female Eastern Grey Kangaroo with a joey in her pouch
Female Eastern Grey Kangaroo with a joey in her pouch
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Theria
Infraclass: Metatheria
Thomas Henry Huxley, 1880

Metatheria is a grouping within the animal class Mammalia. First proposed by Thomas Henry Huxley in 1880, it is nearly synonymous with the earlier taxon Marsupialia (Illiger, 1811) though it is slightly wider since it also contains the nearest fossil relatives of marsupial mammals.

The earliest known representatives are from the uppermost Lower Cretaceous of North America.

The closest living relatives of the metatheres are the Eutheria (also erected by Huxley in 1880). Both are conventionally united as infraclasses within the subclass Theria (Parker and Haswell, 1897), which contains all living mammals except monotremes.

The Greek words meta- and theria mean the "changed beasts".

See also


  • McKenna MC & Bell SK, (1997), Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press.

ko:후수하강 it:Metatheria th:เมทาเธอเรีย zh-yue:後獸亞綱