Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Newly discovered marsupial the victim of fatal attraction: Due to stress hormone, males die before young are born

Date:
February 21, 2014
Source:
Queensland University of Technology
Summary:
A highly sexed mouse-like marsupial in Queensland's Springbrook National Park, Australia, has been discovered by a mammalogist. The rare, Black-tailed Antechinus is a rare, mouse-like marsupial with a deadly mating habit. "A single female's brood of young will typically be sired by several fathers. But during mating, stress hormone levels rise dramatically, eventually causing the males' bodies to shut down. The males all die before their young are born," found the researchers.

Dr. Andrew Baker has discovered a highly sexed mouse-like marsupial in Queensland’s Springbrook National Park.
Credit: Gary Cranitch

A QUT mammalogist has discovered a highly sexed mouse-like marsupial in Queensland's Springbrook National Park. The Black-tailed Antechinus was found in the high-altitude regions of the World Heritage Area. It's the third new species in the genus Antechinus Dr Andrew Baker's research team has discovered in the past two years, all from south-east Queensland.

Dr Baker said he suspected the rare, Black-tailed Antechinus was a separate species when he and his team came across it last May because it had distinctive yellow-orange markings around its eyes and on its rump, and a black tail and feet.

"Comparing it to the Dusky Antechinus, which inhabits south-east Australia, we thought it was probably new," said Dr Baker, from QUT's Science and Engineering Faculty.

"We laid about 300 traps baited with peanut butter and oats. When we caught the first black-tailed antechinus in a trap, we knew we were onto something pretty special."

Dr Baker is now applying for an endangered species listing.

"Antechinus males and females are highly promiscuous; males mate for long periods of time with many females to promote their own genes," Dr Baker said.

"A single female's brood of young will typically be sired by several fathers. But during mating, stress hormone levels rise dramatically, eventually causing the males' bodies to shut down. The males all die before their young are born."

The results of the team's studies have been published in the journal Zootaxa.

The Black-footed Antechinus is a coup for Dr Baker and his research partners from the Queensland Museum and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

New mammal discoveries are rare, with only a handful typically discovered in the world each year.

Dr Baker said the Black-tailed Antechinus likely won't be the last unique creature to be unearthed in Springbrook National Park.

"The Gondwanaland rainforest relic at Springbrook is special and unique," he told the Gold Coast Bulletin. "It would not surprise me if there are other animals that are new in that area. Such things are about place not species."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Queensland University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. ANDREW M Baker, THOMAS Y Mutton, Harry B Hines, STEVE VAN DYCK. The Black-tailed Antechinus, Antechinus arktos sp. nov.: a new species of carnivorous marsupial from montane regions of the Tweed Volcano caldera, eastern Australia. Zootaxa, 2014; 3765 (2): 101 DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3765.2.1

Cite This Page:

Queensland University of Technology. "Newly discovered marsupial the victim of fatal attraction: Due to stress hormone, males die before young are born." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140221103924.htm>.
Queensland University of Technology. (2014, February 21). Newly discovered marsupial the victim of fatal attraction: Due to stress hormone, males die before young are born. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140221103924.htm
Queensland University of Technology. "Newly discovered marsupial the victim of fatal attraction: Due to stress hormone, males die before young are born." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140221103924.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins