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Temporal range: Late Triassic-Oligocene, 216.5–33.9Ma
Ptilodus skull BW.jpg
Skull of Ptilodus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Theriiformes
Infraclass: Allotheria
Marsh, 1880

Allotheria (meaning "other beasts", from the Greek αλλός, allos-other and θήριον, therion-wild animal) is an extinct branch of successful Mesozoic mammals. The most important characteristic was the presence of lower molariform teeth equipped with two longitudinal rows of cusps.[1] Allotheria includes Multituberculata, probably Haramiyida,[2] and possibly the enigmatic Gondwanatheria.[3]

Allotheres also had a narrow pelvis, indicating that they gave birth to tiny helpless young like marsupials do.


When he first identified Allotheria in 1880, Othniel Marsh regarded this group as an order within Marsupialia. But in 1997, McKenna and Bell classified Allotheria as an infraclass.

In Popular Culture[edit]

The song "Mammal" by They Might Be Giants includes a reference to this extinct group as "dead Uncle Allotheria".


  1. ^ Butler, P.M. (2000). "Review of the early allotherian mammals". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 45 (4): 317–342. 
  2. ^ Luo, Z.-X.; Kielan-Jaworowska, Z.; Cifelli, R.L. (2002). "In quest for a phylogeny of Mesozoic mammals". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 47 (1): 1–78. 
  3. ^ Krause, D. W.; Prasad, G. V. R.; von Koenigswald, W.; Sahni, A.; Grine, F. E. (1997). "Cosmopolitanism among Gondwanan Late Cretaceous mammals". Nature 390 (6659): 504–507. Bibcode:1997Natur.390..504K. doi:10.1038/37343.  edit

Further reading[edit]

Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska, Richard L. Cifelli, and Zhe-Xi Luo, Mammals from the Age of Dinosaurs: Origins, Evolution, and Structure (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), 249.