The olfactory system of the tammar wallaby is developed at birth and directs the neonate to its mother's pouch odours
Nanette Y Schneider, Terrence P Fletcher, Geoff Shaw, Marilyn B Renfree
REPRODUCTION | BIOSCIENTIFICA LTD | Published : 2009
In kangaroos and wallabies at birth the highly altricial newborn young climbs unassisted from the urogenital opening to the teat. Negative geotropism is important for the initial climb to the pouch opening, but nothing is known of the signals that then direct the neonate downwards to the teat. Here we show that the newborn tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) has the olfactory apparatus to detect smell. Both the main olfactory system and vomeronasal organ (VNO) are developed at the time of birth. Receptor cells of the main olfactory epithelium immunopositive for G(oalpha)-protein project to the three layered main olfactory bulb (MOB). The receptor epithelium of the VNO contains G-protein immuno..View full abstract
This work was supported by the Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment awarded to Nanette Y Schneider and through an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship awarded to Marilyn B Renfree.