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Latest Marsupial Stories

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2010-07-28 09:42:10

All current Australian marsupials can trace their ancestry back to South America, according to a new study by German researchers from the University of Munster's Institute of Experimental Pathology. "While marsupials like the Australian tammar wallaby and the South American opossum seem to be quite different, research by Maria Nilsson and colleagues at the University of Munster"¦ shows otherwise," a press release dated July 27 says. "Using sequences of a kind of 'jumping gene,' the...

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2010-02-25 06:45:00

The squirrels littering your lawn with acorns as they bound overhead will live to plague your yard longer than the ones that aerate it with their burrows, according to a University of Illinois study. Scientists know from previous studies that flying birds and bats live longer than earthbound animals of the same size. Milena Shattuck and Scott Williams, doctoral candidates in anthropology, decided to take a closer look at the relationship between habitat and lifespan in mammals, comparing...

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2009-12-23 06:05:00

A plague of kangaroos has caused thousands of dollars worth of damage after heavy rains swept through areas of Queensland forcing the marsupials to invade farmland that has been previously untouched by the majority of the kangaroo population. Queensland sheep farmer Stephen Tully told BBC that thousands of kangaroos are running rampant among his fields. The rains have brought the brown fields back to life and the lush grasses have lured the marsupials into the new fertile region. The grasses...

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2009-12-20 09:10:00

Skull fragments of prehistoric koalas from the Riversleigh rainforests of millions of year ago suggest they shared the modern koala's "lazy" lifestyle and ability to produce loud "bellowing" calls to attract mates and provide warnings about predators. However, the new findings published as the featured cover article in the current issue of The Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology suggest that the two species of koalas from the Miocene (24 to five million years ago) did not share the uniquely...

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2009-12-16 10:56:03

A University of Florida researcher has co-authored a study tracing the evolution of the modern opossum back to the extinction of the dinosaurs and finding evidence to support North America as the center of origin for all living marsupials. The study, to be published in PLoS ONE on Dec. 16, shows that peradectids, a family of marsupials known from fossils mostly found in North America and Eurasia, are a sister group of all living opossums. The findings are based in part on high-resolution CT...

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2009-10-09 06:40:00

The fossil of a previously unknown chipmunk-sized mammal was discovered by researchers in north eastern China, who believe it could lead to a better understanding of how human hearing evolved. The team of paleontologists found the 123-million-year-old creature, which is just five inches long, in fossil-rich Liaoning Province, close to where China borders North Korea. "What is most surprising, and thus scientifically interesting, is the animal's inner ear," said Zhe-Xi Luo, a curator at the...

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2009-05-22 08:20:00

Australia's famed Tasmanian devil has been labeled endangered due to an infectious and lethal cancer, the government announced. Devil facial tumor disease exterminates the animals in three short months by spreading all over their faces and mouths, stopping them from eating. "This disease has led to the decline of about 70 percent of the Tasmanian devil population since the disease was first reported in 1996," Environment Minister Peter Garrett announced in a statement. "Strong action is being...

2008-12-17 12:39:03

Australian scientists said they've suffered a setback in their effort to save Tasmanian devils from extinction in the wild. A Tasmanian devil called Cedric had shown a strong antibody response to a deadly facial cancer that is killing the marsupials, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday. It had been hoped that his offspring would also be safe from infection. Cedric, however, has now fallen ill with the disease. It was very deflating, very, very disappointing. But we move on, and we...

2008-06-29 06:02:19

By Price, Gilbert Analysis of thousands of Diprotodon fossils has resolved the debate about how many species of this ancient giant wombat existed - and uncovered some clues to their behaviour. Imagine you could travel back in time to a period not more than 100,000 years ago. What sort of world would you have seen? What was the landscape like ? What sort of animals would you likely encounter? This was a harsh period in the Earth's history, subjected to massive shifts in climate and...

2008-06-17 03:00:15

By Saey, Tina Hesman Tasmanian tiger DNA turns on gene in mouse Tasmanian tigers are back. Sort of. A small bit of the extinct marsupial's DNA is alive and well in the cells of some genetically engineered mice. Researchers have produced proteins from mammoth and Neandertal genes in cells. But the new study, published May 19 in PLoS ONE, is the first to show activity of an extinct piece of DNA in an animal. Scientists from the University of Melbourne in Australia and the University of...


Latest Marsupial Reference Libraries

Numbat, Myrmecobius fasciatus
2014-05-24 17:24:24

The numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus), also known as the marsupial anteater, banded anteater, or the walpurti, is a marsupial that can be found in Western Australia. This species once held a large range but it is now fragmented and limited to only a few small spots in Australia. It once resided in many habitats, but now it can only be found in eucalypt forests. Europeans first discovered this species in 1831, when Robert Dale led an expedition through the Avon Valley. George Robert Waterhouse...

Eastern Quoll, Dasyurus viverrinus
2014-05-19 12:50:49

The eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus), or the eastern native cat, is a species of marsupial that is native to Australia. Its range once included mainland Australia, but it is still common on Tasmania. This species is one of six living quoll species and was named for its ferret-like appearance. George Shaw, who classified it with possums in the Didelphis genus, first discovered it in 1800. Male eastern quolls reach an average body length of 23.6 inches and weight of 2.8 pounds. This...

Southern Marsupial Mole, Notoryctes typhlops
2014-04-30 10:58:40

The southern marsupial mole (Notoryctes typhlops) is a species of marsupial that can be found in southwest Australia. It has been recorded in desert habitats with soft sand and spinifex grasses, but the habitat preferences of this species is currently unknown. Its range is thought to include northern areas of South Australia and the Northern Territory, as well as the Gibson and Great Victoria deserts. Although this species is a marsupial, it has been classified within its own order, known as...

Andean White Eared Possum, Didelphis pernigra
2013-09-27 10:41:06

The Andean white-eared possum (Didelphis pernigra) is a species of marsupial that is native to South America. Its range extends from Bolivia to Venezuela through the Andes Mountains. It is thought to prefer a habitat in secondary forests and agricultural areas. There is not much known about the habits of the species, but it is thought to be in danger of crossbreeding in some areas of its range, although there are no major threats to the species as a whole. It occurs in many protected areas...

Common Brushtail Possum, Trichosurus vulpecula
2013-09-23 13:56:03

The common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is a species of marsupial that is classified within the Phalangeridae family. It can be found in Australia in a range that extends from northern, eastern, several eastern areas of Australia, Tasmania, and a number of islands like Barrow Island and Kangaroo Island. This species was introduced into New Zealand in 1840, where it has now become an abundant species. It prefers to reside in a variety of habitats including semiarid areas, forests,...

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Word of the Day
malpais
  • The ragged surface of a lava-flow.
'Malpais' translates from Spanish as 'bad land.'