Marsupials eat small land animals, spiders, ticks, scorpions and plants. The eating habits of marsupials depend on the species. Opossums, possums and bandicoots are omnivores, while koalas, wombats and kangaroos are herbivores.
Marsupials consist of approximately 272 different species. Most are found in Central and South America and Australasia. Only one species is found in North America. Marsupials can be found in temperate, tropical, terrestrial and freshwater regions. Some marsupials live only for one year, while others can live up to 26 years. They are prey to other mammals, reptiles and birds. Many species are threatened or endangered. This is caused by habitat destruction, over-exploitation and competition.
Mating systems of marsupials are different for each species. Some mate with only one partner, while others mate with many. Some species stay alone throughout the year and only come together to mate. Some species of marsupials develop a pouch in which to carry and nurse their young. The young are born after a gestation period of eight to 43 days. At this point, the heart, kidneys and lungs have not completely developed. This development takes place in the pouch. Their forelimbs are developed enough for them to pull themselves along the mothers belly by grasping hairs. The hind limbs are used as paddles during this time.