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Unusual Mammals: Marsupials & Monotremes



Unusual Mammals: Marsupials & Monotremes
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.91

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bandicoots, earless, echidnas, haired, lengthy, long-beaked, mammary, monotreme, monotremes, outright, prior, reptile-like, short-beaked, soft-shelled, suckle, wondrous
     content words:    Down Under


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Unusual Mammals: Marsupials & Monotremes   

1     Mammals are warm-blooded vertebrate animals with hair that feed their young with milk. Most mammals (such as lions and rodents) give birth to live young that look like smaller versions of their parents. Others rear their offspring differently. Scientists divide these other mammals into two groups: marsupials and monotremes. Oddly, Australia is home to most of these unique mammals. Almost all marsupials live in Australia. All monotremes live on this small continent that we nicknamed the Land Down Under.
 
2     So, what animals are marsupials? What animals are monotremes? And what makes marsupials and monotremes exceptional?
 
3     Of nearly 300 marsupial species, kangaroos and koalas are the most famous marsupials. They are also symbols of Australia. Opossums (found in North America), wombats, bandicoots, and Tasmanian devils are a few more marsupials. Marsupials give birth to live young, but they do so at a very early stage of the embryo's development. In other words, baby marsupials are not yet fully formed when they are born.

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Animal Themes
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Mammals
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Animals
    Amphibians  
 
    Birds  
 
    Deserts  
 
    Fish  
 
    Freshwater  
 
    Grasslands  
 
    Insects  
 
 
    Invertebrates  
 
    Mammals  
 
    Oceans  
 
    Polar Regions  
 
    Rain Forest  
 
    Reptiles  
 


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