Anatomy and development of the koala, Phascolarctos cinereus: an evolutionary perspective on the superfamily Vombatoidea

  title={Anatomy and development of the koala, Phascolarctos cinereus: an evolutionary perspective on the superfamily Vombatoidea},
  author={Theodore I. Grand and Perry S. Barboza},
  journal={Anatomy and Embryology},
Fifteen koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) – 5 pouched young from 4 to 6.5 months and 10 adults from 5 to 16.5 years – were analyzed for functional parameters (body composition, limb segment and muscle mass, post-cranial skeletal characters) and developmental expressions (growth of body, brain, musculature). [] Key Method These data were compared with a convergent eutherian, the three-toed sloth, Bradypus infuscatus, and with the koala’s distant (Macropodid; wallabies) and proximate (Vombatid; wombats…
The anatomy of the mammalian hand is exposed to an intriguing interplay between phylogeny and function, and provides insights on phylogenetic affinities as well as locomotory habits of extinct species, which proposes that the ancestor of extant vombatiforms (koalas and wombats) may have been arboreal.
Functional morphology of the forelimb of living and extinct tree‐kangaroos (Marsupialia: Macropodidae)
The first detailed description of the functional anatomy of the forelimb, a central component of the locomotor complex, in the extant Dendrolagus lumholtzi is provided, and its structure and function is compared with representatives of other extant marsupial families.
Evolutionary morphology of the Tenrecoidea (Mammalia) hindlimb skeleton
Results from qualitative and quantitative analyses demonstrate remarkable diversity in several aspects of knee and hip joint skeletal form that are supportive of function‐based hypotheses, and consistent with studies on nontenrecoid eutherian postcranial adaptation.
A new family of diprotodontian marsupials from the latest Oligocene of Australia and the evolution of wombats, koalas, and their relatives (Vombatiformes)
It is suggested that the highly derived vombatids evolved from wynyardiid-like ancestors, and that scratch-digging adaptations evolved in vombatoids prior to the appearance of the ever-growing (hypselodont) molars that are a characteristic feature of all post-Miocene vombatid species.
Locomotion and basicranial anatomy in primates and marsupials.
  • C. Villamil
  • Psychology, Biology
    Journal of human evolution
  • 2017
Ecomorphological determinations in the absence of living analogues: the predatory behavior of the marsupial lion (Thylacoleo carnifex) as revealed by elbow joint morphology
It is inferred from the results that Thylacoleo used its forelimbs for grasping or manipulating prey to a much higher degree than its supposed extant placental counterpart, the African lion (Panthera leo).
Quantifying koala locomotion strategies: implications for the evolution of arborealism in marsupials
Koalas possess a unique morphology for a marsupial; examination of their locomotion is used to determine the extent to which they have converged with other arboreal mammals such as primates.
Development of myoglobin concentration and acid buffering capacity in harp (Pagophilus groenlandicus) and hooded (Cystophora cristata) seals from birth to maturity
It is suggested that intra-uterine conditions are sufficiently hypoxic to stimulate prenatal β development, but that [Mb] development requires additional postnatal signal such as exercise, and/or growth factors.
Functional Morphology of Wakaleo Postcrania from the Middle to Late Miocene of Central Australia Reveals New Insights in the Evolution of Marsupial Hypercarnivores
Describing new postcranial material of W. vanderleueri and W. alcootaensis from mid- and late-Miocene fossil deposits from the Australian Northern Territory highlights a greater diversity in the evolutionary history of medium to large sized marsupial carnivores during the Miocene in Australia than previously recognized.


Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) dentition and nutrition. I. Morphology and occlusion of cheekteeth
Occlusion was reconstructed by wear facet and striation analysis and indicates that contact between the occluding teeth occurs with the cristae shearing past each other, with the lower teeth moving in an antero‐lingual direction.
The muscles of mastication of Phascolarctos cinereus (Phascolarctidae:Marsupialia)
The muscles of mastication of the koala, Phascolarctos cinereus, were dissected, described, weighed and the areas of their origin and insertion were determined. In addition, the temporomandibular
  • C. Janis
  • Geography
    Evolution; international journal of organic evolution
  • 1976
The perissodactyls were the dominant medium to largesized herbivores during the Eocene, and in the early Oligocene a reduction in their diversity coincided with the beginning radiations of the ruminant groups of artiodactylS.
The Kidney Structure of the Common Wombat (Vombatus-Ursinus) and the Hairy-Nosed Wombat (Lasiorhinus-Latifrons)
The kidney structure of these two wombats was studied and it was found that kidney size, kidney weight, and kidney weight as a percentage of body weight, were larger in V. ursinus than in L. latifrons, suggesting that the hairy-nosed wombat has a greater capacity to conserve water.
How muscle mass is part of the fabric of behavioral ecology in East African bovids (Madoqua, Gazella, Damaliscus, Hippotragus)
  • T. Grand
  • Biology
    Anatomy and Embryology
  • 1997
Locomotor adaptation as it is reflected in size, shape, and musculoskeletal structure is the key to habitat choice, dietary specialization, social structure, and male agonistic behavior and, therefore, central to the fabric of behavioral ecology.
Composition of the Milk of the Koala, Phascolarctos cinereus, an Arboreal Folivore
Koala milk composition showed a number of deviations from the general marsupial pattern that suggest koalas have adopted a lactational strategy different from that of most other marsupials previously studied, and may be associated with energetic limitations imposed directly by their folivorous diet or indirectly via selection for their long period of lactation and slow weaning.
Overbrowsing, and decline of a population of the koala, Phascolarctos cinereus, in Victoria. III. Population dynamics
Juvenile and sub-adult koalas from a population at Walkerville, Victoria, which was severely defoliating its preferred food trees, had significantly lower growth rates and the low fertility rate of the Walkerville females appeared to be due to their poor nutritional state and to reproductive tract disease.
Body Weight: its Relationship to Tissue Composition, Segmental Distribution of Mass, and Motor Function III.* The Didelphidae of French Guyana
The Didelphidae remain small, prehensile-tailed, scampering and climbing omnivores with only moderate hindlimb dominance, and have not differentiated structurally as much as the prosimians in comparable niches in West Africa or Madagascar.
Growth Rates of the Bandicoot Isoodon macrourus and the Brushtail Possum Trichosurus vulpecula
Both marsupials showed a change in growth rate as hair appeared, eyes opened and the young first left the pouch, respectively, according to iterative analysis.
Microbiological studies of the intestinal microflora of the Koala, Phascolarctos cinereus. II. Pap, a special maternal faeces consumed by juvenile koalas
The evidence indicates that pap feeding is an essential physiological activity for the juvenile koala to prepare it for an imminent dietary transition from maternal milk to tannin-rich eucalypt leaves.