Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

Grooming behaviuor and birth in the Dasyurid marsupial Dasyuroides byrnei

GD Hutson

Australian Journal of Zoology 24(2) 277 - 282
Published: 1976


A birth observed in D. byrnei is described. A detailed record of grooming behaviour and activity was made over two 24-h periods, one of which included birth. There was a reduced level of activity in the 12 h before parturition. The birth position differed from other marsupials; the head was curled tightly underneath the body and the cloaca braced 2-3 cm from the floor by the tail, which extended behind the body. There was an increase in pouch cleaning after birth, due to isolated bouts of cleaning rather than to increased grooming in sequences, but no change in the performance of other grooming movements. The increase is interpreted as a response to an external stimulus - the presence of young in the pouch.

© CSIRO 1976

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