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Biparental care and obligate monogamy in the rock-haunting possum, Petropseudes dahli, from tropical Australia

Runcie, Myfanwy Jane (2000). Biparental care and obligate monogamy in the rock-haunting possum, Petropseudes dahli, from tropical Australia. Animal Behaviour,59(5):1001-1008.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 18 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Biparental care and obligate monogamy in the rock-haunting possum, Petropseudes dahli, from tropical Australia
Author Runcie, Myfanwy Jane
Journal Name Animal Behaviour
Publication Date 2000
Volume Number 59
Issue Number 5
ISSN 0003-3472   (check CDU catalogue  open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-0033840898
Start Page 1001
End Page 1008
Total Pages 8
Place of Publication United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier Ltd
Field of Research 060801 - Animal Behaviour
Abstract Monogamy is rare among mammals, including marsupials. I studied the social organization of the little-known rock-haunting possum in Kakadu National Park in Northern Australia. Preliminary field observations revealed that the majority of possums live in cohesive groups consisting of a female–male pair and young, suggesting a monogamous mating system. I used radiotracking to determine home range patterns, and observations to measure the degree of symmetry between the sexes in maintaining the pair bond and initiating changes in group activity. I also measured the extent of maternal and paternal indirect and direct care. Nocturnal observations and radiotelemetric data from 3 years showed that six possum groups maintained nonoverlapping home ranges with long-term consorts and young sharing dens. Males contributed more than females to maintaining the pair bond but they contributed equally to parental care. For the first time, the parental behaviours of bridge formation, embracing, marshalling of young, sentinel behaviour and tail beating are reported in a marsupial. Males participated to a high degree in maintaining relationships with one mate and their offspring. Collectively, these results suggest that the mating system of this wild population of rock-haunting possums is obligate social monogamy.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/anbe.1999.1392   (check subscription with CDU E-Gateway service for CDU Staff and Students  check subscription with CDU E-Gateway in new window)
 
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Created: Fri, 29 Aug 2014, 19:51:18 CST by Anthony Hornby