Didelphodon

Name: Didelphodon (Opossum tooth).
Phonetic: Die-del-foe-don.
Named By: Othniel Charles Marsh - 1889.
Synonyms: Diaphorodon, Ectoconodon, Stagodon.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Marsupialia, Ameridelphia, Didelphimorphia.
Species: D. vorax (Type), D. coyi, D. padanicus.
Type: Carnivore/Insectivore.
Size: 30 centimetres long.
Known locations: Canada, Alberta - Scollard Formation. USA, Montana - Hell Creek Formation, Wyoming - Lance Formation.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Many dozens of specimens.

       Didelphodon acquired its name because of its similar dentition to a modern day opossum, which in turn has indicated a matching diet of insects and small animals. Its body morphology also suggests adaptation for burrowing, a good survival tactic when you consider the predatory dinosaurs of its time. As an ancient marsupial, Didelphodon is thought to represent an ancient ancestor to the opossums that live in North America today.

Further reading
- A new species of Didelphodon Marsh (Marsupialia) from the Upper Cretaceous of Alberta, Canada: paleobiology and phylogeny. - Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen 172(3):357-380. - R. C. Fox & B. G. Naylor - 1986.



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