"Metatherians, the group of mammals containing all of today's marsupials, were diverse by the end of the Cretaceous. The cat-sized beast Didelphodon (Opossum Tooth) measured over a meter long, including its tail, and weighed up to 5 kilograms. This makes it quite hefty for a mesozoic mammal. Didelphodon also possessed an extremelly powerful bite force for it's size, one of the highest of all known mammals, helping it to become one of the earliest marsupials to become an active predator-scavenger."
― Saurian encyclopedia
It was a small mammal by modern standards but big by Late Cretaceous standards, being about a 1 feet long (0.3 meters) and 5 kilograms (11 lb), pretty much one of the largest or the largest mammals of its time. As an endotherm, it needed to eat on a regular basis to produce the energy needed to regulate its body. Being a small animal in a time of large dinosaurs, it was prey for theropods like young Tyrannosaurus, young Dakotaraptor, Acheroraptor, Anzu, and Pectinodon, reptiles like Borealosuchus, and Palaeosaniwa, and the pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus. Didelphodon acquired its name because of its similar dentition to a modern day opossum, which in turn has indicated a matching diet of insects and small animals. The teeth have specialized bladelike cusps and carnassial notches, indicating that the animal was a predator; the jaws are short and massive and bear enormous, bulbous premolar teeth which appear to have been used for crushing. Analyses of a near-complete skull referred to Didelphodon show that it had an unusually high bite force quotient (i.e. bite force relative to body size) among Mesozoic mammals, suggesting a durophagous diet. However, its skull lacks the vaulted forehead of hyenas and other specialized bone-eating durophagous mammals, indicating that its diet was perhaps a mixture of hard foodstuffs (e.g. snails, bones) alongside small vertebrates, carrion, and possibly some plants.
Didelphodon is currently in Saurian as an AI. For the Dakotaraptor gameplay it is a fairly easy meal, as a small mammal that doesn't runs too fast, making it the easiest land prey for the hatchling and the juvenile, and a more reliable source of prey than the fast and nimble Chamops and DePalma's Ornithurans. Currently, Didelphodon does not display sexual dimorphism or ontogenic stages.
It looks fairly similar to an otter despite being a relative of marsupials. It is mix of dark and lighter browns as well as pink toes and pinkish tail.
Notes and referencesEdit
|Animals of Saurian|
In-game: Acheroraptor • Anatosaurus • Ankylosaurus (upcoming playable) • Basilemys • Borealosuchus • Brachychampsa • Chamops • Denversaurus • DePalma's Ornithuran • Didelphodon • Lepisosteus • Mosasaurus • Ornithomimid • Pachycephalosaurus (upcoming playable) • Palaeosaniwa • Quetzalcoatlus • Thescelosaurus • Triceratops (upcoming playable) • Tyrannosaurus (upcoming playable)
Book exclusives: Avisaurus • Compsemys • Gamerabaena • Gilmoremys • Helopanoplia • Hoplochelys • Judithemys • Melvius • Opisthotriton • Palaeobatrachus • Paleopsephurus • Potamornis • Scapherpeton• Stygiochelys