The majority of the world’s known mammals are placental mammals. Placental mammals are specified by the presence of a placenta that enables the advanced development of the young before birth, a more developed brain, and some other skeletal features. Examples of placental mammals are humans, primates, bats, cats, dogs, ruminants, and rodents. Placental mammals comprise around 95% of the 5,220 species of known mammals. In contrast, marsupials are born at an embryonic stage of development. They then develop to independence by attaching firmly to the teat of the mothers. Teat may be external or throughout most marsupials covered by pouches of varying degrees of development until full pouches found in species like kangaroos.
There are ten lessons in this course:
2. Anatomy and Physiology
4. Health & Disease
5. Marsupial Carnivores
6. The Diprotodontia -Kangaroos
7. Other Diprotodontia
9. Other Marsupials
10. Marsupial Conservation and Management
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- Explain the likely origin of marsupials.
- Explain classification of marsupials.
- Identify common external anatomical features in marsupials
- Explain common and diverging characteristics in the internal biology of marsupials.
- Discuss and compare behavioural characteristics in a number of different marsupials.
- Describe health issues that affect marsupials.
- Identify and describe the biology, behaviour and care of marsupial carnivores.
- Identify and describe the biology, behaviour, and care of Macropods from the Diprotodontia order.
- Identify and describe the biology, behaviour and care of non-macropod marsupials in Diprotodontia.
- Identify and describe the biology, behaviour and care of marsupials in order Peramelemorphia.
- Identify and describe the biology, behaviour and care of other marsupials, specifically from the taxonomic orders Didelphimorphia, Microbiotheria, Notoryctemorphia and Paucituberculata.
- Discuss issues related to the sustainable management of marsupials.