Reproduction in the Proserpine rock-wallaby, Petrogale persephone Maynes (Marsupialia : Macropodidae), in captivity, with age estimation and development of pouch young
Peter M. Johnson and J. Steven C. Delean
26(5) 631 - 639
Reproduction in the Proserpine rock-wallaby, Petrogale persephone, was studied in captivity. Sexual maturity, defined as age at first fertility, was attained at 20.5 months in females whereas males were not mature until 24.8 months. P. persephone is capable of breeding throughout the year. The length of the oestrous cycle was 33–38 days, while the period of gestation was 30–34 days. Birth was usually followed by an oestrus and mating, and a subsequent lactation-controlled embryonic diapause. The mean interval between loss of a pouch young and birth was 31.5 days. Pouch life was 203–215 days and young at foot were weaned 105–139 days after permanent emergence from the pouch. Linear mixed-effects models were used to describe polynomial growth equations for age determination of pouch young using both head and pes length. The relationship between error in age prediction and each body measurement was defined. Head measurements provided the most accurate estimates of the age of pouch young.
Full text doi:10.1071/WR98049
© CSIRO 1999