Question: Do marsupials ever die in childbirth?
Obviously the notion of there being a linear ordering of "least advanced" to "most advanced" life forms isn't correct. Still, often marsupials are depicted as relic or archaic creatures with an inferior reproductive strategy, since besides possums they are restricted to Australia and New Guinea.
However, compared to some placental mammals, like the spotted hyena and humans, the marsupial method of always giving birth to very small young, who can finish developing outside of the mother's body, seems to be more sensible.
If there haven't been enough field observations of marsupials, then of course this is an unanswerable question, but I was wondering if anyone knew anything about papers or other materials which discuss the advantages of the marsupial reproductive strategy.