The X and Y Chromosomes (Chrs) of eutherian ("placental") mammals share a pseudo-autosomal region (PAR) that pairs and recombines at meiosis. In humans and other eutherians, the PAR contains several active genes and has also been thought to be critical for pairing and fertility. In order to explore the origin of the PAR, we cloned and mapped three human or mouse pseudoautosomal genes in marsupials, a group of mammals that diverged from eutherians about 130 (MYrBP). All three genes were autosomal in marsupials, and two co-localized with other human Xp genes on an autosome. This implies that the human PAR, like most of human Xp, represents a relic of an autosomal region added to both X and Y Chrs between 80 and 150 MYrBP.