Diprotodontia order is composed of 10 Recent families
with 40 genera and 131 species. They are distributed
throughout Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea and islands
of the East Indies. The fossil history is from the late
Oligocene to Recent with similar diversity of species
within the order.
is the largest and most diverse of the marsupial orders,
however all species in this order share several important
characteristics. Two of the most significant include
the possession of enlarged lower incisor teeth that
project forward and an integument that binds together
the second and third digits of their hind feet.
diversity of species within Diprotodontia is exemplified
by the size range of its largest and smallest Recent
species. The largest is Macropus rufus at 100
kg. The smallest, Acrobates pygmaeus weighs only
15 grams. While most of the order is herbivorous, some
species do prey on invertebrates and small vertebrates.
Methods of locomotion differ greatly as well with some
species gliding through the tree tops and others leaping
along the grasslands.