Journal article

Long-term pair-bonds without mating fidelity in a mammal

Jennifer K Martin, Kathrine A Handasyde, Andrea C Taylor, Graeme Coulson

BEHAVIOUR | BRILL | Published : 2007

Abstract

Most mammals are polygynous and are characterised by male-biased sexual size dimorphism. One hallmark of mammalian monogamy is the lack of such dimorphism. Bobucks, or mountain brushtail possums, Trichosurus cunninghami, lack sexual size dimorphism; however, few behavioural data exist for this species. We studied the mating system of a bobuck population in south-eastern Australia. Adult bobucks were strongly paired: pair-members had exclusive access to a suite of den-trees and overlapped in home range on average by 70%. Pair-members rested together in the same tree-hollow on approximately 70% of days during the breeding season and 47% of days during the non-breeding season. While active, pai..

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