Ultrasonography of wallaby prenatal development shows that the climb to the pouch begins in utero
AuthorDrews, B; Roellig, K; Menzies, BR; Shaw, G; Buentjen, I; Herbert, CA; Hildebrandt, TB; Renfree, MB
Source TitleSCIENTIFIC REPORTS
PublisherNATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsDrews, B., Roellig, K., Menzies, B. R., Shaw, G., Buentjen, I., Herbert, C. A., Hildebrandt, T. B. & Renfree, M. B. (2013). Ultrasonography of wallaby prenatal development shows that the climb to the pouch begins in utero. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 3 (1), https://doi.org/10.1038/srep01458.
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3597997
C1 - Journal Articles Refereed
Marsupials have a functional placenta for a shorter period of time compared to that of eutherian species, and their altricial young reach the teats without any help from the mother. We have monitored the short intrauterine development of one marsupial, the tammar wallaby, with high-resolution ultrasound from reactivation of the 100-cell diapausing blastocyst to birth. The expanding blastocyst could be visualized when it had reached a diameter of 1.5 mm. From at least halfway through pregnancy, there are strong undulating movements of the endometrium that massage the expanding vesicle against the highly secretory endometrial surface. These unique movements possibly enhance exchange of uterine secretions and gases between the mother and embryo. There was a constant rate of development measured ultrasonographically from mid-gestation, regardless of when the blastocyst reactivated. Interestingly climbing movements by the fetus began in utero about 3 days before birth, mimicking those required to climb to the pouch.
KeywordsVertebrate Biology; Evolution of Developmental Systems; Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
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