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24 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Kinds of Mammals
• About one third are found in South and Central America (only one in North America) and the rest in Australasia.
• Marsupials display almost as much diversity of life forms as eutherians, but until recently have been lumped into a single Order
• It is only in Australasia that living monotremes are found
• Thus Australians are very fortunate that we live in the only part of the world where all 3 of the major groups of
mammals occur
* All 3 mammals present in OZ before it seperated from antartica (45-38 mya)
* platypus-like animal, oldest fossil from OZ (110mya)
* Oldest marsupial faound in Queensland
* when it broke away from antartica, carried eutherian mammals, marsupials and monotremes.
* All groups coexisted
- Eutherians not superior
- marsupials and monotremes won and eliminated eutherians until invasions from Asia
Eutherians in Australia
* Native
- Chiroptera
- Cetacea
- Pinnepedia
- Sirenia
* Native and Introduced
- Carnivora
- Rodentia
- Primates
- Lagomorpha
- Perissodactyla
- Artiodactyla
• The most diverse order of mammals after Rodentia
• Some species are found over much of the world, some are very restricted
• Two suborders:
• Fruit bats or “Flying Foxes”
• Insectivorous bats or Microbats
Important pollinators (more mammal pollination in OZ than anywhere else) esp in Rainforest
Big eyes: rely on sight
Eat- blossom or nectar –
sometimes fruit
Several species in Australia Tropical
Brisbane evenings
Flying Primates?
Navigate and hunt using sonar Mostly eat insects
~60 'old endemic' spp
earliest rodents in OZ from late miocene
In most climatic zones of Australia
7 native Rattus spp (NEW ENDEMICS)
Old Endemics (1)
Cool temperate- Long tailed mouse
Tropical- Giant tree rat
Desert- Spinifex hopping mouse
Good at retaining water
Very efficient kidneys
Get enough water from food, dont need to drink
(2) Hydromys chrysogaster
*only aquatic mammal
* Common in permanent freshwater
* Eats fish and molluscs
* White tail tip
* Thick fur
Dark above, light below
(3) Leporillus conditor
* Extinct on mainland
* Survives only on islands of Great Australian Bight
* Nests
Up to 2 m across & 1 m high
(4) old endemics
Uromys caudimaculatus
Giant White-Tailed Rat

Zyzomys argurus
Rock Rat
New Endemics
Bush Rat
Rattus fuscipes

Commonest of
New Endemics
Homo sapiens
Interactions with biological environment
Earliest dingo
~3500 ybp
in Madura cave (Nullarbor)
Marine Animals
* Oraeiidae- eared seals and sea lions
- Australian Fur Seal, NZ fur seal
* Phocidae- earless or True seals
- Southern Elephant seal, Leopard seal, weddell seal
* Sirenia- Dugong (related to elephants)
* Mysticeti- Baleen whales
- Southern Right Whale, Humpback Whale
* Odontoceti- toothed whales
- Sperm Whale
- Killer whale
- Humpbacked dolphin
Warm Blooded- endothermy
Differences in 3 groups - in Reproduction
Many groups of animals have viviparous spp
Not all mammals are viviparous
Mammalian options
• Oviparity in Monotremes
• Viviparity in Eutherians
- Maximising complexity
- Optimising precocity
• Viviparity in Marsupials
- Efficient energetic investments
–Maintaining options
–Optimising flexibility
• Mammals that lay eggs
• Pregnant for longer than eggs are incubated after laying
• Unlike birds, egg grows a lot in utero and embryo develops prior to laying
• Physiological (NOT phylogenetic) intermediate
• Probably less pressure for full viviparity to evolve
since monotremes are burrowing animals
* Lactate
* SMALL egg ~2cm diameter
Eutherians: Optimising for
Precocity and Complexity?
• If a strong pressure leading to viviparity has been associated with avoiding predation, the highly precocious young of many herd mammals have an obvious advantage
ie) Newborn antelope, etc. can keep up with herd within hours or even minutes after birth
• BUT prolonged gestation allows development of attributes like extraordinary brain size as in Primates
- Homo sapiens pushing
the limits, extending development post-natally
during prolonged parental care of the highly dependent young
Oestrous Cycle
The physiologic changes that are induced by reproductive hormones in eutherian females. (Humans and great apes undergo a menstrual cycle instead)
"Going into heat"
Marsupial pregnancy
Eutherian pregnancy- 'hijacks mother's endocrine system
In marsupials the duration of pregnancy is about the same as the oestrouscycle
pregnancy does not interrupt the ovarian cycle, although subsequent lactation does