Lecture 17- Marsupials: Possums Flashcards Preview

Australian Wildlife Biology > Lecture 17- Marsupials: Possums > Flashcards

Flashcards in Lecture 17- Marsupials: Possums Deck (30):
1

What is the taxonomy of possums and gliders?

class: Mammalia subclass: Theria order: Diprodontia suborder: Phalangeriformes

2

What animals are in the order diprodontia wit possums?

kangaroos, wombats and macropods (based on dentition and syndactyly)

3

How is grooming important in possums?

-otherwise get cold if they do not groom!

4

Is there lot of diversity in the suborder phalangeriformes?

-yes -4 superfamilies -Petauroidea (remember)

5

How many species of phalangeriformes are there?

-approx 27 in Australia -33 in mainland PNG and Melanesia (4 shared with Australia)

6

What morphological diversity do phalangeriformes display?

-5g-4.5kg range in size -gliders have flaps that allow them to glide -different ears etc.

7

What is the range of habitats of phalangeriformes?

-occur throughout Australia, tropical, temperate, alpine and semi-arid zones -not in extremely arid areas -must have vegetation

8

How do the diets of phalangeriformes vary?

-some highly specialised, some generalists -vary across species and include: nectar, pollen, sap, fruit, seeds, leaves, insects, fungi, flowers, lichen, bird eggs, small invertebrates

9

What is the distribution of the common brushtail possum?

-widespread across huge range of environments -not in central Australia probably -do well in suburbs, in forests much lower density

10

What is the distribution of the mountain pygmy possum?

-highly specialised alpine species (VIC+NSW) -rare animal, thought it was extinct but not (1960s) -development of ski runs and global climate change= big danger

11

What species are in the superfamily Petauroidea?

-3 genuses 1.Petaurus 4 species(gliders), very social, feed on nectar and insects 2.Gymnobelidus 1sp (no gliding, jumping instead) Leadbeater's possum 3.Dactylopsila= striped possums (also no gliding, jumping instead)

12

What are the distribution and habitat requirements for common striped possum?

-broad distribution AUstralia and PNG (mostly the north of Queensland and PNG) -closed forests (rainforests) -it is an australasian species

13

What is true of mammals with increasing body weight?

-increase area required -IMPORTANT -larger animals have larger home ranges

14

Do herbivores or insectivores need larger area?

-insectivores

15

What are the unusual characteristics of striped possums? (3)

1. Klinorhynchy (rounded cranium)-withstand higher pressure on the skull 2. Large procumbent lower incisors (move independently of each other) 3. Tongue and 4th finger elongated

16

In what forests do striped possums live?

-closed forest (+ open forest associated with closed forest)

17

What is the diet of striped possums?

-insectivorous -get some grubs from wood= have to get them from the trees= the usage of the finger and long tongue etc.

18

What are the area range required for striped possum?

-males= 150ha+ - females approx. 40ha -more solitary than the other petaurids -much larger home ranges than other petaurids

19

How many species are there of brushtail possums?

-3 species (but 2 may not be separated actually) -1 genus -family phalengeridae

20

What are the 4 types of mating systems?

1. Polygyny 2. Polyandry 3. Promiscuity 4. Monogamy -common patterns in mammals and birds

21

What is polygyny?

prolonged association and exclusive mating, 1 male and 2 or more females

22

What is polyandry?

prolonged association and exclusive mating, 1 female and 2 or more males

23

What is promiscuity?

no prolonged association, multiple mating by at least one sex

24

What is monogamy?

prolonged association and exclusive mating of 1 male and 1 females (pairing)

25

How do resources influence mating systems and home ranges?

-it is driven by resources

-if abundant resources= then male can easily cover home ranges of more females but if limited= then 1:1

A image thumb
26

What are the characteristics of Bobucks (Mt. Brushtail possums)?

-live in tall wet forest -adults 2.5-4kg (VIC largest possum) -diet: silver wattle, fungi -rest in tree hollows -one young per year ( common brushtail have 2) -sedentary -need big trees= big hollows -so must be old trees in the forest -babies stay with parents fro up to 18 months -males are the dispersing sex -the females often larger than males

27

How were pairs of Bobucks observed to behave?

-pairing, strongly associated with each other -den trees= sometimes together sometimes on another -the baby is wither with male or female= both parents take care of the baby -males disperse, females stay so all in one place are related, the males are genetically distinct -each pair has exclusive use of suite of den trees -pair members=share dens 70% of the time -big overlap between pair members 78%

28

What are the characteristics of the forest population of the Bobucks?

-socially monogamous -exclusive use of den trees by the pair -den sharing (among the pair) -high degree of home range overlap -close proximity of pair members while active -females pair at about 2-5 years -pair bonds ended only after death of one pair member

29

What are the characteristics of the roadside population of the Bobucks?

-polygynous

30

How come the roadside and forest Bobuck populations differ in social structure?

-more hollowbearing trees and more silver wattle in the roadside habitat so the females have smaller home ranges and the males can cover more and protect the range -the resources influence female range, that influences male behaviour and that impacts social system