Pub. Date:
CSIRO Publishing
Life of Marsupials

Life of Marsupials

by Hugh Tyndale-Biscoe
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Joint winner of the 2005 Whitley Medal.

Included in Choice Magazine's 2006 Outstanding Academic Titles list.

Over the past half a century research has revealed that marsupials – far from being ‘second class’ mammals – have adaptations for particular ways of life quite equal to their placental counterparts. Despite long separate evolution, there are extraordinary similarities in which marsupials have solved the challenges of living in such environments as deserts, alpine snowfields or tropical rainforests. Some can live on grass, some on pollen and others on leaves; some can glide, some can swim and others hop with extraordinary efficiency.

In Life of Marsupials, one of the world’s leading experts explores the biology and evolution of this unusual group – with their extraordinary diversity of forms around the world – in Australia, New Guinea and South America.


Written by a leading expert on marsupial biology
Covers all marsupials in Australia, New Guinea and South America
Colour photos of 39 species

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780643062573
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Publication date: 04/28/2005
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Hugh Tyndale-Biscoe has, for more than 40 years, been at the cutting edge of marsupial research, from brushtail possums in New Zealand, to quokkas in Western Australia, and from tammar wallabies in New South Wales to opossums in South America. His original text, Life of Marsupials, published in 1973 was the first textbook on marsupials. In this completely re-written edition, he brings a lifetime’s experience and masterly insights into the lives of this unusual group of mammals

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – What is a marsupial?
Chapter 2 – Reproduction and development
Chapter 3 – Opossums of the Americas: cousins from a distant time
Chapter 4 – Predatory marsupials of Australasia: bright-eyed killers of the night
Chapter 5 – Bandicoots: fast-living opportunists
Chapter 6 – Pygmy possums and sugar gliders: pollen eaters and sap suckers
Chapter 7 – Life in the trees: koala, greater glider and possum
Chapter 8 – Wombats: vegetarians of the underworld
Chapter 9 – Consummate kangaroos
Chapter 10 – Marsupials and people: past and present

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