Birth in the northern quoll, Dasyurus hallucatus (Marsupialia : Dasyuridae)

Nelson, John E. and Gemmell, Robert T. (2003) Birth in the northern quoll, Dasyurus hallucatus (Marsupialia : Dasyuridae). Australian Journal of Zoology, 51 2: 187-198. doi:10.1071/ZO02016

Author Nelson, John E.
Gemmell, Robert T.
Title Birth in the northern quoll, Dasyurus hallucatus (Marsupialia : Dasyuridae)
Formatted title
Birth in the northern quoll, Dasyurus hallucatus (Marsupialia : Dasyuridae)
Journal name Australian Journal of Zoology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0004-959X
Publication date 2003
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/ZO02016
Volume 51
Issue 2
Start page 187
End page 198
Total pages 12
Place of publication Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Collection year 2003
Language eng
Subject C1
270604 Comparative Physiology
780105 Biological sciences
Abstract Birth has been observed in a number of marsupial species and, in the studies to date, the newborn have crawled up to or across to the pouch. The method of birth in the quoll, a dasyurid, differs greatly from that observed in other marsupials. Births were recorded at normal speed using hand-held digital video cameras. Birth was heralded by a release of about 1 mL of watery fluid from the urogenital sinus followed by gelatinous material contained in either one or two tubes emanating from the sinus. The newborn, still encased in their placental membranes, were in the gelatinous material within a column. To exit this column, they had to grasp a hair and wriggle about 1 cm across to the pouch. In the pouch the newborn young had to compete for a teat. Although the quolls possessed 8 teats, the number of young in the pouch immediately after birth was 17, 16, 6, 16, 13 and 11 for each of the 6 quolls filmed. While birth has been described previously in another two dasyurids, the observers did not describe birth as reported here for the quoll. Nevertheless the movement of the newborn from the sinus to the pouch is so quick that this could have previously been missed. Filming birth from beneath and from the side allowed for a greater understanding of the birth process. Further studies are required to determine whether this use of a gelatinous material is part of the birth process in all dasyurids.
Keyword Zoology
Q-Index Code C1

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Created: Tue, 14 Aug 2007, 19:33:34 EST