Encephalization of Australian and New Guinean Marsupials

  title={Encephalization of Australian and New Guinean Marsupials},
  author={Ken W.S. Ashwell},
  journal={Brain, Behavior and Evolution},
  pages={181 - 199}
  • K. Ashwell
  • Published 30 January 2008
  • Environmental Science
  • Brain, Behavior and Evolution
Encephalization of Australian marsupials was analyzed using the endocranial volume (ECV) of 52 species of Dasyuromorphia and Notoryctemorphia, 14 species of Peramelemorphia and 116 species of Diprotodontia from Australia and New Guinea and compared with 16 species of Ameridelphian marsupials and 3 species of native and recently introduced Australian eutherian carnivores (dingo, feral cat and feral fox). Linear regression analysis of the relationship between ECV and body weight for marsupials… 

Brain and behaviour of living and extinct echidnas.

Diet, feeding behaviour and echidna beaks: a review of functional relationships within the tachyglossids

  • S. Nicol
  • Environmental Science, Biology
  • 2021
Using museum specimens and photographs I measured skull dimensions on echidnas from different parts of Australia, and found that acanthion and multiaculeatus have narrower skulls and shorter beaks than aculeatus and setosus, withSetosus being the only Australian subspecies where beak length exceeds cranium length.

Marsupials indeed confirm an ancestral mammalian pattern: A reply to Isler

It is suggested that placentals differ from what could be called an ancestral mammalian pattern by having a placenta, through which increases in maternal BMR could benefit offspring brain sizes.

Cortical Cyto- and Chemoarchitecture in Three Small Australian Marsupial Carnivores: Sminthopsis macroura, Antechinus stuartii and Phascogale calura

The findings indicate that the cyto- and chemoarchitectural features which characterize the iso- and allocortex in these small marsupial carnivores are similar to those reported in didelphids and eutherians and the findings suggest the existence of putative dedicated motor areas medial to the S1 field.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brains of Three Peramelemorphian Marsupials

The findings demonstrate the feasibility of using this sort of imaging of archived brains to analyze the neuroanatomy of rare and evolutionarily significant species and to relate these findings to the behavioral neurology of those species.

The Basal Radial Glia Occurs in Marsupials and Underlies the Evolution of an Expanded Neocortex in Therian Mammals

This study characterized and quantified the NPCs in the developing neocortex of a marsupial, the tammar wallaby, demonstrating that its neocortex is characterized by high NPC diversity and supporting the concept that changes in multiple parameters contribute to neocortex expansion.

Reassessing the Relationship Between Brain Size, Life History, and Metabolism at the Marsupial/Placental Dichotomy

The results support the suggestion that mammalian brain sizes are predominantly constrained by the ability of females to fuel the growth of their offspring's large brains, rather than by the maintenance requirements of the adult brain.

Energy Homeostasis in Monotremes

Although echidnas show very large seasonal variations in fat stores associated with hibernation there is no relationship between plasma leptin and adiposity, supporting suggestions that in evolutionary terms the anorectic effects of leptin preceded the adiposity signal.



A Comparison of Encephalization between Odontocete Cetaceans and Anthropoid Primates

  • L. Marino
  • Psychology, Biology
    Brain, Behavior and Evolution
  • 1998
Results show that the encephalization level of Homo sapiens is still extraordinary relative to that of nonhuman species, but a subset of delphinid odontocetes are significantly more highly encephalized than the most highlyEncephalized anthropoid primates and narrow the gap in encephalizations between humans and nonhumans substantially.

Prediction of marsupial body mass

Total jaw length is the most reliable predictor for diprotodontians, as well as for all species combined, whereas lower molar row length appears to be more appropriate for dasyuromorphians.

Life of marsupials

The author's original text, also called Life of Marsupials published in 1973, was the first student textbook on marsupials and this completely re-written edition brings a lifetime's experience and masterly insights into the lives of these fascinating mammals.

The cranial endocast of the early Miocene marsupial, Wynyardia bassiana: an assessment of taxonomic relationships based upon comparisons with recent forms.

Examination of the latex endocast of the nearly intact neurocranium of Wynyardia bassiana reveals that the marsupial's brain is clearly phalangeroid in external morphology, resembling closely that of the extantphalangerid, Trichosurus vulpecula.


This historic publication provides an account of every species of native mammals known to have existed in Australia since European settlement and every introduced species now living in a wild state.

The distribution of play behaviour among Australian marsupials

The distribution of play in Australian marsupials supported the hypothesis that play acts to modify brain development and was correlated with relative brain mass.

Brain Growth in the Harbor Porpoise and Pacific White-Sided Dolphin

Examining brain-growth patterns in the harbor porpoise and Pacific white-sided dolphin found the brain of P. phocoena is substantially more mature throughout development than that of L. obliquidens, and brain- growth patterns are related generally to adult encephalization levels in these two species.

Australia's Mammal Extinctions: A 50,000-Year History

This book introduces readers to the great mammal extinction debate by taking a detective-like tour of these extinctions, uncovering how, why and when they occurred.

Taxonomic differences in the scaling of brain on body weight among mammals.

Theories for the evolution of brain weight in mammals suggest that closely related species have diverged largely as a result of selection for differences in body weight, but that differences among

Can endocranial volume be used as an estimate of brain size in birds

A combination of interspecific and intraspecific comparisons indicates that endocranial volume does provide a reliable estimate of brain size in birds, and is supported by correlational analyses that showed a significant positive relationship between endocrinial volume and brain mass.