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

Changes in the Haematology of Antechinus Stuartii (Marsupialia), and Their Association With Male Mortality.

PD Cheal, AK Lee and JL Barnett

Australian Journal of Zoology 24(3) 299 - 311
Published: 1976


Seasonal changes in the blood parameters of A. stuartii show that most males and a few females are anaemic immediately preceding the post-mating mortality of males. Gastrointestinal haemorrhage and intravascular haemolysis, possibly resulting from infections of Babesia sp., appear probable causes of the anaemias. The marked lymphopenias and neutrophilias observed in males, but not females, are consistent with other evidence of a severe stress response in males at this time. The reduction in haemoglobin concentration and haematocrit detected in most anaemic animals was correlated with an increase in the resting oxygen consumption and a reduction in aerobic scope. These changes coincide with a time of considerable energy expenditure by males and may contribute to their demise.

© CSIRO 1976

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