Journal article

Sex down under: the differentiation of sexual dimorphisms during marsupial development

MB Renfree, AJ Pask, G Shaw

REPRODUCTION FERTILITY AND DEVELOPMENT | CSIRO PUBLISHING | Published : 2001

Abstract

Marsupials have many characteristic features that make them ideal models to study the control of sexual differentiation and development. They are distinguished from eutherian mammals in their mode of reproduction and their greater dependence on the teat and mammary gland than on the placenta for development. They give birth to a highly altricial young which completes its development while firmly attached to a teat, usually within the confines of a pouch. At birth, the marsupial neonate has a well-developed digestive, respiratory and circulatory system, but retains its fetal excretory system with a fully functional mesonephric kidney and undifferentiated gonads and genitalia.