First record of quadruplets in the musky rat-kangaroo Hypsiprymnodon moschatus

Peter M. Johnson, Shan Lloyd, Tamara Vallance, Mark D. B. Eldridge

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    The musky rat-kangaroo (Hypsiprymnodon moschatus) is endemic to the tropical rainforests of north-east Queensland (Johnson and Strahan 1982). It is the smallest (510 – 530 g) and most unusual member of the marsupial superfamily Macropodoidea (Dennis and Johnson 1995). Unlike other macropodoids, H. moschatus is frugivorous, diurnal, has an opposable first digit on the pes, a running quadrupedal gait and possesses a relatively unspecialised digestive tract (Johnson and Strahan 1982; Dennis 2002). It also differs from all other macropodoids in typically giving birth to multiple young, usually twins – although single young and triplets are regularly reported both in the wild and in captivity (Troughton 1967; Johnson and Strahan 1982; Johnson et al. 1983; Dennis and Marsh 1997; Lloyd 2001). However, the birth of more than three young has not previously been observed in H. moschatus or any other macropodoid, even though all species possess four teats.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-97
    Number of pages3
    JournalAustralian Mammalogy
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • Hypsiprymnodon moschatus
    • Macropodoid
    • Marsupial
    • Microsatellites
    • Multiple births
    • Musky rat-kangaroo
    • Quadruplets


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