from The Century Dictionary.
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I do not doubt that he would say the placentata having single wombs, whilst the marsupiata have double ones, is an instance of this law.
In the "_Animal Kingdom_" of the great naturalist just named, the marsupiata, or pouched animals, are made to occupy the fourth place among the nine orders of the Mammalia; but should they not rather occupy a place intermediate between the placental mammals and the birds? and does not nature indicate their true position by the position which she assigns to them in the geologic scale?
The marsupiata are not oviparous, for their _eggs_ want the enveloping shell or skin; but they, too, are extruded in an exceedingly rudimentary and foetal state, and have to undergo in the pouch a greatly longer period of _incubation_ than that demanded by nature for any bird whatever.
With the exception of an opossum or two, all these marsupiata may be regarded as discoveries made since the time of Buffon; most of them, as I have said, are small.
My view that the higher birds are morphologically above the marsupiata here receives incontrovertible support. '
Now, this surely is a process quite as nearly akin to the incubation of egg-bearing birds as to the ordinary nursing process of the placental mammals; and on the occult but apparently real principle, that the true arrangement of the animal kingdom is that which we find exemplified by the successive introduction of its various classes and orders in the course of geologic history, should we not anticipate a point of time for the introduction of the marsupiata, intermediate between the widely-distant points at which the egg-bearing birds and the true placental mammals appeared?