Posted by: Sandy Steinman | September 26, 2019

These Marsupials Drop Dead After Mating

The New York Times reports

This extreme reproductive strategy has been observed in the wild for the first time among male kalutas, mouselike mammals native to Northwestern Australia.

Kalutas live fast and die young — or, at least, the males do. Male kalutas, small mouselike marsupials found in the arid regions of Northwestern Australia, are semelparous, meaning that shortly after they mate, they drop dead.

This extreme reproductive strategy is rare in the animal kingdom. Only a few dozen species are known to reproduce in this fashion, and most of them are invertebrates. Kalutas are dasyurids, the only group of mammals known to contain semelparous species. Only around a fifth of the species in this group of carnivorous marsupials — which includes Tasmanian devils, quolls and pouched mice — are semelparous and, until recently, scientists were not sure if kalutas were among them.

Read fulls story at These Marsupials Drop Dead After Mating – The New York Times


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