The Neurobiology of Australian Marsupials: Brain Evolution in the Other Mammalian Radiation (BOK)
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Australian marsupials represent a parallel adaptive radiation to that seen among placental mammals. This great natural experiment has produced a striking array of mammals with structural and behavioural features echoing those seen among primates, rodents, carnivores, edentates and ungulates elsewhere in the world. Many of these adaptations involve profound evolutionary changes in the nervous system, and occurred in isolation from those unfolding among placental mammals. Ashwell provides the first comprehensive review of the scientific literature on the structure and function of the nervous system of Australian marsupials. The book also includes the first comprehensive delineated atlases of brain structure in a representative diprotodont marsupial (the tammar wallaby) and a representative polyprotodont marsupial (the stripe-faced dunnart). For those interested in brain development, the book also provides the first comprehensive delineated atlas of brain development in a diprotodont marsupial (the tammar wallaby) during the critical first 4 weeks of pouch life.