Placentation in Marsupials

Adv Anat Embryol Cell Biol. 2021:234:41-60. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-77360-1_4.


It is sometimes implied that marsupials are "aplacental," on the presumption that the only mammals that have a placenta are the eponymous "placental" mammals. This misconception has persisted despite the interest in and descriptions of the marsupial placenta, even in Amoroso's definitive chapter. It was also said that marsupials had no maternal recognition of pregnancy and no placental hormone production. In addition, it was thought that genomic imprinting could not exist in marsupials because pregnancy was so short. We now know that none of these ideas have held true with extensive studies over the last four decades definitively showing that they are indeed mammals with a fully functional placenta, and with their own specializations.

Keywords: ALID; Diapause; Endometrium; Genomic imprinting; Inflammation; Marsupial; Omphalopleure; Placenta; Tammar wallaby; Transcriptome; Trophoblast; Yolk sac.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Genomic Imprinting
  • Mammals
  • Marsupialia* / genetics
  • Placenta
  • Placentation* / genetics
  • Pregnancy