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Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 83.5–66Ma [1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Metatheria
Family: Stagodontidae


Stagodontidae is an extinct family of carnivorous metatherian mammals that inhabited North America during the late Cretaceous. Currently, the family includes two genera, Eodelphis and Didelphodon, which together include some five different species.[1] Other extinct mammals, such as Pariadens, were once considered members of this family, but this is no longer the case. Stagodontids were some of the largest known Cretaceous mammals, ranging from 0.4 to 2.0 kilograms (0.88–4.41 lb) in mass.[2] One of the most unusual features of stagodontids are their robust, bulbous premolars, which are thought to have been used to crush freshwater mollusks.[3] Postcranial remains suggest that stagodontids were most likely semi-aquatic.[4] The most well described forms are found in Laramidia, but they are also present on appalachian sites, further leading credence to their aquatic habits.[5]

Stagodontids were once thought to be closely related to the Sparassodonta, but later studies suggest they belong to a more ancient branch of the metatherian family tree, possibly closely related to pediomyids.[6][7] Stagodontids are last known from the Maastrichtian, and are thought to have gone extinct in the K-T Extinction.

  • Family Stagodontidae[1]
    • Genus Didelphodon
      • Didelphodon coyi
      • Didelphodon padanicus
      • Didelphodon vorax
    • Genus Eodelphis
      • Eodelphis browni
      • Eodelphis cutleri


  1. ^ a b c Fox, Richard C.; Bruce G. Naylor (2003). "Stagodontid marsupials from the late Cretaceous of Canada and their systematic and functional implications". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 51 (1): 13–36. 
  2. ^ Gordon, Cynthia L. (2003). "A First Look at Estimating Body Size in Dentally Conservative Marsupials". Journal of Mammalian Evolution 10: 1–21. doi:10.1023/A:1025545023221. 
  3. ^ Lofgren, Donald L. (1992). "Upper premolar configuration of Didelphodon vorax (Mammalia, Marsupialia, Stagodontidae)". Journal of Paleontology 66: 162–164. 
  4. ^ "Didelphodon vorax". Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center. December 7, 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Denton, R. K. Jr., & O’Neill, R. C., 2010, A New Stagodontid Metatherian from the Campanian of New Jersey and its implications for a lack of east-west dispersal routes in the Late Cretaceous of North America. Jour. Vert. Paleo. 30(3) supp.
  6. ^ Marshall, Larry G.; J.A. Case, M.O. Woodburne (1990). "Phylogenetic Relationships of the Families of Marsupials". Current Mammalogy 2: 433–505. 
  7. ^ Forasiepi, Analía M. (2009). "Osteology of Arctodictis sinclairi (Mammalia, Metatheria, Sparassodonta) and phylogeny of Cenozoic metatherian carnivores from South America". Monografías del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales 6: 1–174.