Marsupials and Monotremes: Nature’s Enigmatic Mammals

Athol Klieve, Lindsay A. Hogan, Stephen Johnston and Peter Murray (Editors)
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Gatton Campus, Gatton, Queensland, Australia

Series: Animal Science, Issues and Research
BISAC: NAT019000

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Marsupials and monotremes are the dominant mammalian fauna in Australia, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and parts of South America. Monotremes are unique; they possess a range of reptilian and mammalian characteristics. Marsupials are highly diverse and occupy a wide range of ecologically diverse niches and habitats. They have distinct physiologies and their ability to control foetal development and nurture extremely immature young is providing beneficial insights into developmental physiology and human medicine.

Insights into marsupial herbivory are benefitting agriculture and climate science. Studies on these mammals that have or will benefit mankind in medicine, agriculture and environmental science have been highlighted. This book covers current knowledge of all aspects of the basic biology and ecology of marsupials and monotremes including evolution and biogeography, genomics, musculoskeletal anatomy, thermal regulation, reproduction, nutrition and feeding strategies, behaviour and social interactions, health and disease, current conservation status, exploitation and utilisation and finally addresses this question: “Are monotremes and marsupials inferior?”

The principal audience for this book will be undergraduate students at the tertiary level. Within these chapters, standalone text boxes have been incorporated with examples of the most up-to-date research undertaken to make the book a resource to research students and scientists. Many text boxes highlight the enigmatic nature of marsupials and monotremes and where knowledge of their biology could be of value to the wider community (medicine, agriculture and environment). This compilation emphasizes the utility of the information being generated from research with these mammals to the wider scientific community.
(Imprint: Nova)

Preface

Chapter 1
Marsupial and Monotreme Evolution and Biogeography
(Vera Weisbecker and Robin Beck, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia, and others)

Chapter 2
Marsupials and Monotremes in the Genomics Era
(Belinda Wright, Mette Lillie and Katherine Belov, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Australia)

Chapter 3
Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Adaptations
(Natalie M. Warburton and Rebekah Dawson, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Australia, and others)

Chapter 4
Thermoregulation in Marsupials and Monotremes
(John B. Gaughan, Lindsay A. Hogan and Andrea Wallage, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia)

Chapter 5
Enigmas in Reproductive Biology
(Stephen Johnston and Tamara Keeley, Wildlife Science Unit, School of Agriculture and Food Science, The University of Queensland, Australia)

Chapter 6
Nutrition and Feeding Strategies
(Athol V. Klieve, Patricia O’Hara and Peter J. Murray, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia)

Chapter 7
Communication and Social Behaviour
(Lindsay A. Hogan and Gemma E. Morrow, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia)

Chapter 8
Health and Disease
(Tamsin S. Barnes, Chiara Palmieri, David Blyde, William Ellis, School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Australia, and others)

Chapter 9
Conservation of Marsupials and Monotremes
(Peter J. Murray and Neal A. Finch, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia)

Chapter 10
Utilisation and Exploitation
(Neal Finch and Justine Gibson, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia, and others)

Chapter 11
Are Monotremes Primitive and Marsupials Inferior?
(Vera Weisbecker, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia)

Index

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