Temporal range: Oligocene–Recent
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Synapsida
Class: Mammalia
Clade: Metatheria
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Ameghino, 1894
Order: Paucituberculata
Trouessart, 1898

Paucituberculata is an order of South American marsupials. Currently represented only by shrew opossums, over the course of the Cenozoic it included a wide variety of mammal species, including the Glires-like argyrolagoideans.


It is one of two clades of Ameridelphia, a paraphyletic group; genetic studies have shown these animals to be a sister group to Australidelphia (i.e., Didelphimorphia branched off first).[1][2]

The strange Polydolopiformes have historically been considered part of the clade, which would extend its range to the Paleocene. However, most modern researchers do not consider them to be closely related.[3]


  1. Schiewe, Jessie (2010-07-28). "Australia's marsupials originated in what is now South America, study says". LATimes.Com. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 1 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-01.
  2. Nilsson, M. A.; Churakov, G.; , Sommer, M.; Van Tran, N.; Zemann, A.; Brosius, J.; Schmitz, J. (2010-07-27). "Tracking Marsupial Evolution Using Archaic Genomic Retroposon Insertions". PLoS Biology. Public Library of Science. 8 (7): e1000436. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000436. PMC 2910653Freely accessible. PMID 20668664.
  3. Francisco J. Goin, Michael O. Woodburne, Ana Natalia Zimicz, Gabriel M. Martin, Laura Chornogubsky, A Brief History of South American Metatherians: Evolutionary Contexts and Intercontinental Dispersals, 2015
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