Predators with Pouches: The Biology of Carnivorous Marsupials

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Menna Jones, Chris R. Dickman, Mike Archer, Michael Archer
Csiro Publishing, 2003 - Nature - 486 pages
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Predators with Pouches provides a unique synthesis of current knowledge of the world’s carnivorous marsupials—from Patagonia to New Guinea and North America to Tasmania. Written by 63 experts in each field, the book covers a comprehensive range of disciplines including evolution and systematics, reproductive biology, physiology, ecology, behaviour and conservation.

Predators with Pouches reveals the relationships between the American didelphids and the Australian dasyurids, and explores the role of the marsupial fauna in the mammal community. It introduces the geologically oldest marsupials, from the Americas, and examines the fall from former diversity of the larger marsupial carnivores and their convergent evolution with placental forms.

The book covers all aspects of carnivorous marsupials, including interesting features of life history, their unique reproduction, the physiological basis for early senescence in semelparous dasyurids, sex ratio variation and juvenile dispersal. It looks at gradients in nutrition—from omnivory to insectivory to carnivory—as well as distributional ecology, social structure and conservation dilemmas.
  

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Contents

Early marsupial radiations in South America
30
Comparative anatomy of the Tiupampa didelphimorphs an approach to locomotory habits
43
Molecular phylogeography and species limits in rainforest didelphid marsupials of South America
63
Diversity and distribution of Thylamys Didelphidae in South America with emphasis on species
82
recent advances in palaeontology
102
why are there so many kinds of dasyurid?
124
Reproduction and development
131
Physiology
215
Behaviour of carnivorous marsupials
332
Chemical communication in dasyurid marsupials
347
clues to the likelihood of sperm competition
358
why when how?
376
Parasites of carnivorous marsupials
383
Part S Conservation
399
problems issues and solutions for conserving Australasias marsupial carnivores
422
a case study
435

Nutritional and fibre contents of laboratoryestablished diets of neotropical opossums Didelphidae
231
Thermal biology and energetics of carnivorous marsupials
238
Stress hormones and mortality in small carnivorous marsupials
254
Evolutionary ecology and behaviour
269
Conservation of the numbat Myrmecobius fasciatus
452
The application of genetic research to conservation management in carnivorous marsupials
475
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About the author (2003)

Chris Dickman is Professor in Terrestrial Ecology at the University of Sydney, and author of the popular book "A Fragile Balance: The Extraordinary Story of Australian Marsupials" (2007), which won the Whitley Medal for advancing zoological knowledge in 2008. He has been studying the natural history of the Desert Channels area for 20 years, and has published extensively on this.

Mike and Dosh Archer are a husband-and-wife team who live in Kent, England. This is their first book.

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