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Age estimation of pouch young and growth of the burrowing bettong, Bettongia lesueur, (Marsupialia: Potoroidae) on Heirisson Prong, Shark Bay, Western Australia

Freegard, C.J., Calver, M.C., Richards, J.D. and Bradley, J.S. (2007) Age estimation of pouch young and growth of the burrowing bettong, Bettongia lesueur, (Marsupialia: Potoroidae) on Heirisson Prong, Shark Bay, Western Australia. Australian Mammalogy, 29 (2). pp. 157-167.

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    Abstract

    Measurements of hind foot length, weight, head length and tail length were collected from pouch young, young at foot, sub-adults and adults of a reintroduced population of the vulnerable burrowing bettong, Bettongia lesueur, on Heirisson Prong, Shark Bay, Western Australia. A key based on qualitative characteristics was used to age individuals and a Richards growth function was fitted to plots of hind foot length versus age. The patterns of growth and morphological characteristics were similar for males and females. Both sexes exhibited a growth pattern typical of a medium-sized macropod with an initial slow phase of growth followed by a rapid phase that slowed as adult size was reached. The growth curves are suitable for broad estimates of the age of wild-caught animals from pouch young to early adulthood.

    Publication Type: Journal Article
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
    Publisher: Australian Mammal Society Inc.
    Copyright: © CSIRO 2007
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/1014
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