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(class Mammalia)

A subclass that comprises the extinct orders Docodonta, Triconodonta (although their inclusion in the subclass is controversial), and Multituberculata, as well as the order Monotremata, members of which (platypus and echidnas) still survive. Prototherians are distinguished from therians mainly by the skull wall, which in prototherians has a small squamosal and alisphenoid, and by their teeth. The two subclasses began to diverge from a common stock during the late Triassic.

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