Baby Marsupials Drink Placenta To Enhance Development

What is Placenta?

Placenta is an organ that connects the developing fetus to the uterine wall to allow nutrient uptake, waste elimination, and gas exchange via the mother’s blood supply. It is formed from the same fertilized egg as the fetus and serves as a barrier to prevent the mother’s immune system from attacking the developing baby.

What are Marsupials?

Marsupials are mammals that give birth to underdeveloped young, which then develop further inside their mother’s pouch. Kangaroos, wallabies, and sugar gliders are examples of marsupials. Unlike placental mammals, marsupial fetuses do not receive nutrients from the mother’s blood supply via the placenta. Instead, they rely on a yolk sac that attaches to the lining of the uterus.

How do Baby Marsupials Drink Placenta?

Once the marsupial baby is born, it crawls to the mother’s pouch and latches onto a nipple. The nipple releases milk, but not immediately. Before milk production kicks in, the baby must survive on a substance called “marsupial milk,” which is secreted from the mother’s mammary glands and contains high levels of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.However, in addition to milk, baby marsupials also consume the placenta, which contains essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that are critical for their development. The placenta is eaten in small pieces or consumed whole and is absorbed directly into the baby’s bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system.

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Why do Baby Marsupials Drink Placenta?

Baby marsupials drink placenta to enhance their development and survival. Since they are born underdeveloped and vulnerable, they need to grow and mature quickly to avoid predators and compete for resources. By consuming the placenta, they can obtain nutrient-rich substances that are not present in marsupial milk alone, which can help them grow and develop faster.


In summary, baby marsupials drink placenta to enhance their development and survival. While this may seem unusual or even gross to some people, it is a natural and vital part of their biology. By consuming the placenta, baby marsupials can obtain essential nutrients that are not present in marsupial milk alone, which can help them grow and mature quickly. So the next time you see a kangaroo with a joey in her pouch, remember that the baby is not only drinking milk but also consuming the placenta to support its growth and development.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it safe for baby marsupials to drink placenta?

Yes, it is safe for baby marsupials to drink placenta. In fact, it is a natural and necessary part of their development.

2. Do all marsupials drink placenta?

While most marsupials do consume the placenta, not all of them do. Some species, like the opossum, simply leave the placenta behind after giving birth.

3. Does consuming placenta have any benefits for humans?

There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that consuming placenta has any benefits for humans. In fact, it may even be harmful due to the risk of bacterial infection.

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4. Can humans drink placenta milk?

While it is possible to extract milk from placenta, it is not recommended for consumption due to the risk of bacterial infection and the lack of nutritional benefits.

5. What happens to the placenta after baby marsupials consume it?

After baby marsupials consume the placenta, the mother typically eats any remaining pieces to prevent predators from detecting the scent of the newborn. Any leftover pieces are left to decompose naturally.

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I am a child development specialist with a strong passion for helping parents navigate the exciting and sometimes challenging journey of raising a child. Through my website, I aim to provide parents with practical advice and reliable information on topics such as infant sleep, feeding, cognitive and physical development, and much more. As a mother of two young children myself, I understand the joys and struggles of parenting and am committed to supporting other parents on their journey.

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