Age estimation by measurement of pouch young of the Quokka (Setonix brachyurus).
JW Shield and P Woolley
Australian Journal of Zoology
9(1) 14 - 23
AbstractRemoval of pouch young of Setonix can lead to the resumption of development of quiescent blastocysts. Thirty-six pouch young obtained in this way have been used in this study. As the time in days from resumption of development to parturition is known, accurate ages may be calculated without actual birth or copulation being observed. These 36 animals have been repeatedly measured during their pouch life, and body weight, pes length, and tail length over the full term of pouch occupancy are given as regressions of these measures versus age. Larger-scale regressions are given for the first 80 days of pouch life. A tabulation based on the three regressions and giving average measures at stated ages is also given. During pouch life there is no difference in growth rate between male and female pouch young. Growth proportions of field-reared and compound-reared animals of comparable nutritional status are also similar. It is therefore considered that growth rates are equal, and that the age-estimation procedure established on compound-reared animals is applicable to field animals.
© CSIRO 1961