from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An external pouch or fold on the abdomen of most female marsupials, containing the mammary glands and in which the young continue to develop after leaving the uterus.
  • n. A temporary egg pouch in various fishes and crustaceans.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The external pouch in which female marsupials rear and feed the young
  • n. A brood pouch in some fishes, crustaceans and insects in the family Monophlebidae

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The pouch, formed by a fold of the skin of the abdomen, in which marsupials carry their young; also, a pouch for similar use in other animals, as certain Crustacea.
  • n. The pecten in the eye of birds and reptiles. See pecten.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Roman antiquity, a purse of the kind usually borne in the hand of Mercury, and indicating his character as god of gain.
  • n. In medicine, a sack or bag in which any part of the body is fomented.
  • n. In zoology, a purse- or pouch-like receptacle for the eggs or young, more external than any of the proper organs of gestation; a brood-pouch of any kind.
  • n. In anatomy, the alar ligaments (which see, under alar).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an external abdominal pouch in most marsupials where newborn offspring are suckled


Late Latin marsūpium, pouch, from Latin marsīpium, marsuppium, from Greek marsippion, marsuppion, diminutive of marsippos, marsuppos, purse, perhaps of Iranian origin; akin to Avestan marsū-, belly, paunch.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin marsūpium, from Ancient Greek μαρσίππιον (marsippion), diminutive of μάρσιπος (marsipos, "pouch"), perhaps of Oriental origin. (Wiktionary)


  • Copulation consists of the male wrapping the posterior part of his body around the female's ventral side, bringing his uropods in close proximity to her marsupium.


  • Females have a marsupium in which they brood their young until they are ready to be released into the environment.


  • After mating is complete, the female releases eggs into her marsupium where fertilization takes place.


  • They are large and platelike, and form the marsupium, in which the eggs and developing young are protected.


  • They form a shallow chamber on the ventral surface of the thorax called a marsupium.


  • The newly hatched young amphipods stay in the marsupium until the female undergoes a post-copulatory moult.


  • After 1 to 10 months, the eggs are fertilized and pass into the marsupium.


  • The incubating eggs and newly hatched young remain in the marsupium for up to one month.


  • Superficially, mysidaceans look much like small shrimp, and since they have a ventral marsupium, they are often called opossum shrimp.


  • He then releases sperm which she sweeps into her marsupium by vibrating her pleopods.



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