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Marsupial Mice and Tasmanian Devil Cats: Dasyuridae

Behavior And Reproduction

Like all marsupials, species in this family give birth to young that are often blind and hairless, and are not able to survive on their own. This means that pregnancy for these species is usually very short. When the young are born, they either move into the mother's pouch or to her underbelly where they attach themselves to her teats. When attached in this way, the developing young travel with their mother for weeks or months as they continue to grow and develop. Once the young are able to survive on their own, they are weaned from their mother and detach from her nipples. After this, there is usually a period during which the young stay close to home and hunt away from their mother for increasingly long periods before going off on their own. The males of these species usually travel farther from the mother's nest to find territories of their own than the females do.

Some species in this family mate only one time before they die. The males of these species often die soon after mating, although the females live long enough to raise their young and sometimes to have a second litter. Scientists think that the reason that males of some species only mate once and then die is because it takes so much energy for the males to mate, especially in years when there is not much food available. Scientists think that these animals use up so much energy mating that they no longer have enough energy to stay healthy.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsMarsupial Mice and Tasmanian Devil Cats: Dasyuridae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Brush-tailed Phascogale (phascogale Tapoatafa): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, CATS MARSUPIAL MICE TASMANIAN DEVIL AND PEOPLE,