Tag Archives: marsupials

Reproductive behaviours of marsupials

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The Dusky Antechinus (Antechinus swainsonii) is a small dasyurid with an unusual life cycle. “In winter, females make nests in creek banks, often below the surface of the soil, where decayed logs and grass provide cover. The roughly spherical, grass-lined nest chamber has a single opening. Mating is restricted to a short period in winter, and may last up to six hours. All males die within three weeks of the start of mating season. A month after mating, females give birth and six to ten young are carried in an open pouch for about eight weeks. The young are then left in the nest for about three months until they are able to fend for themselves.” (Museum Victoria). Your practical manual has an exercise with graphs showing the changing population of males and females in the Antechinus. Answer the discussion questions and then complete the Biochallenge on page 401.