Journal article

MILK EJECTION IN A MARSUPIAL, MACROPUS-AGILIS

DW LINCOLN, MB RENFREE

NATURE | MACMILLAN MAGAZINES LTD | Published : 1981

Abstract

Marsupials give birth to young which are almost embryonic in form, and for the first few months of postnatal life they remain continuously attached to the nipples of the lactating mammary glands. The immature appearance of the neonate and the presence of an elaborate musculature in the wall of the pouch led observers to suggest that the contraction of the pouch functioned to compress the lactating mammary glands and thus force milk into the mouth of the young1. This view was dismissed when Enders2 demonstrated that milk was not expressed in the opossum, Didelphis virginiana, following electrical stimulation of the motor nerves supplying the muscles of the pouch, and he implied that milk was ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers