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Wed Sep 4, 2019, 10:55 PM

These Marsupials Drop Dead After Mating

Source: New York Times

These Marsupials Drop Dead After Mating

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

By Annie Roth
Published Aug. 28, 2019
Updated Sept. 3, 2019

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.

Now there is no doubt that, for male kalutas, sex is suicide.

In a study, published in April in the Journal of Zoology, researchers from the University of Western Australia and the University of Queensland confirmed that kalutas exhibit what is known as obligate male semelparity.

“We found that males only mate during one highly synchronized breeding season and then they all die,” said Genevieve Hayes, a vertebrate ecologist and the lead author of the study.

-snip-

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/28/science/kalutas-mammals-die-after-sex.html

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Related: Male semelparity and multiple paternity confirmed in an arid‐zone dasyurid (Journal of Zoology)


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Reply These Marsupials Drop Dead After Mating (Original post)
Eugene Sep 2019 OP
Hoyt Sep 2019 #1
Tactical Peek Sep 2019 #2
liberaltrucker Sep 2019 #3

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 11:16 PM

1. Is it a painful/prolonged death? Seriously, interesting post.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 11:31 PM

2. The "little death" not so little for some.




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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2019, 11:47 PM

3. *Sigh* I know the feeling

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