Non-Placental Mammals: Definitions, Characteristics & Examples

Instructor: Ebony Potts

Ebony has taught middle and high school physical science, life science & biology. She's also been an assistant principal and has a doctorate in educational administration.

Non-placental mammals are specialized mammals that share specific characteristics. In this lesson, you will learn what some of these characteristics are and what distinguishes non-placental mammals from other mammals.

Intro to Non-Placental Mammals

A kingdom is a classification level that includes may different types of organisms. For instance, snakes, bears, and insects are all in the same kingdom! All living things are classified into six kingdoms. Mammals are included in Kingdom Animalia, which itself includes a number of different classifications. In this lesson, you will learn about the two categories of non-placental mammals, the marsupials and the monotremes.

What are Mammals?

Mammals share four main characteristics. An important characteristic of mammals is that they are warm-blooded. The body temperature of a warm-blooded animal can be kept higher than the surrounding environment. Another characteristic that mammals have in common is that they are vertebrates, which means they have a backbone. Mammals also all have hair or fur and they produce milk to feed their young.

Let's talk about three different types of mammals: eutherians, marsupials, and monotremes. Eutheria are mammals that are attached to a placenta early on during their development. Eutheria are placental mammals. The focus of this lesson, however, is non-placental mammals, which are the other two categories of mammals, marsupials and monotremes. Non-placental mammals are not attached to the mother via a placenta.

Non-Placental Mammals

Duck-billed Platypus

Marsupials are mammals that carry their young in a pouch early on during their development. The young of marsupials are born very undeveloped. Once a marsupial is born, it locates its mother's nipple and stays in her pouch until it is more developed. Examples of marsupials are opossums, koalas and kangaroos.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account