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The Vombatiformes are one of the three suborders of the large marsupial order Diprotodontia. Five of the seven known families within this suborder are extinct; only the families Phascolarctidae, with the koala, and Vombatidae, with three extant species of wombat, survive.

Among the extinct families are the Diprotodontidae, which include the diprotodon, believed by many to be the inspiration for the bunyip. "Vombatiformes" is neo-Latin for "wombat-shaped things", and took its name from its type family.

The suborder Vombatiformes, with its closely related members and their compact body form, contrasts with the other two diprotodont suborders, the Macropodiformes: kangaroos, wallabies and quokkas; and the Phalangeriformes: possums, including the gliders like the wrist-winged gliders. The Koala and wombats are believed by many biologists to share a common ancestor and to have diverged only recently in the Cenozoic.

Classification

Suborder Vombatiformes

References

  1. ^ McKenna, Malcolm C.; Bell, Susan K., eds. (1997). Classification of mammals – above the species level. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. xii–631. ISBN 9780231110129. 
  2. ^ BLACK, K., March 2007. Maradidae: a new family of vombatomorphian marsupial from the late Oligocene of Riversleigh, northwestern Queensland. Alcheringa 31, 17-32. ISSN 0311-5518
  3. ^ Naish, Darren. "Of koalas and marsupial lions: the vombatiform radiation, part I". Scientific American. Scientific American, Inc. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f doi:10.4202/app.2012.0001
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Mammal Diversity 2011 This article is part of Project Mammal Taxonomy, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on every order, family and other taxonomic rank related to mammals.
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