Faecal particle size and tooth wear of the koala (Phascolartcos cinereus)

Ellis, William, Attard, Rachel, Johnston, Stephen, Theileman, Peter, McKinnon, Allan and Booth, David (2014) Faecal particle size and tooth wear of the koala (Phascolartcos cinereus). Australian Mammalogy, Online Early 1: 1-5. doi:10.1071/AM13033

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Author Ellis, William
Attard, Rachel
Johnston, Stephen
Theileman, Peter
McKinnon, Allan
Booth, David
Title Faecal particle size and tooth wear of the koala (Phascolartcos cinereus)
Formatted title
Faecal particle size and tooth wear of the koala (Phascolartcos cinereus)
Journal name Australian Mammalogy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0310-0049
Publication date 2014-03-04
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/AM13033
Volume Online Early
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 5
Total pages 5
Place of publication Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Publisher C S I R O Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
We used computer-aided image analysis of leaf fragment particles found in faecal pellets of 45 koalas, representing the range of tooth wear in this species, to investigate how tooth wear in the koala influences faecal particle sizes. Although the range of sizes of particles produced did not vary between koalas across different tooth wear classes, with all koalas producing small, medium and large particles, koalas with advanced tooth wear produced a greater proportion of larger particles. This observation may prove useful for demographic population analyses based on scat surveys since the broad age class of individual koalas can be estimated from faecal pellet analysis. Older koalas produced faecal pellets containing a higher proportion of the largest-sized particle sizes (those greater than 0.59 mm2) than either young or mature koalas but there was no difference detected between mature and young koalas.
Keyword Faecal pellets
Population age structure
Tooth wear
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 4 March 2014

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Created: Thu, 06 Mar 2014, 06:51:58 EST by Associate Professor Stephen Johnston on behalf of Centre For Mined Land Rehabilitation