Mammalian Biology

, Volume 68, Issue 6, pp 329–340 | Cite as

Carpal ontogeny in Dasyurus viverrinus and notes on carpal evolution in the Dasyuromorphia among the Marsupialia

  • M. R. Sánchez-VillagraEmail author
  • Manuela Döttling
Original investigation


Histological sections of the hand of three pouch-young specimens of Dasyurus viverrinus (the Eastern quoll) and macerated skeletons representing six adult dasyurid species were examined. Already in very early postnatal life the number and arrangement of the adult carpals of D. viverrinus can be identified, as is the case in all marsupials examined to date. No signs of a centrale or prepollex anlage were found in any of the stages examined. It is confirmed that a disto-lateral process of the scaphoid separating the lunatum and magnum is diagnostic for the Dasyuromorphia; this feature is not present in D. viverrinus at the time of the period of fixation but appears later in pouch-young life. A histologically sectioned juvenile and adult specimens of Dromiciops gliroides lack a prepollex, as do all dasyurid species investigated in this work. A specimen of Sarcophilus laniarius has an additional carpal bone at the ulnar side of the hamatum.


Dromiciops Marsupialia carpalia ontogeny phylogeny 

Die Entwicklung der Handwurzelknochen bei Dasyurus viverrinus und Bemerkungen zur Evolution der Carpalia bei den Dasyuromorphia innerhalb der Marsupialia


Histologische Schnittserien der Hand von drei Beuteljungen von Dasyurus viverrinus und mazerierte Skelette von sechs Arten der Dasyuridae wurden untersucht. Schon kurz nach der Geburt ist die Anzahl und Einordnung der Carpalia wie bei Adulten bei D. viverrinus zu sehen; dies ist auch der Fall bei alle anderen bis jetzt untersuchten Arten der Marsupialia. Von Centrale und Praepollex wurden keine Spuren gefunden. Es wird bestätigt, daß ein distolateraler Fortsatz des Scaphoids, der das Lunatum vom Magnum trennt, diagnostisch für die Dasyuromorphia ist. Dieses Merkmal hat sich während des ‘Period of Fixation’ bei D. viverrinus noch nicht entwickelt. Ein Praepollex ist an Skeletten von Adulten und in histologischen Schnittserien eines juvenilen Tieres von Dromiciops gliroides nicht vorhanden. Das adulte Exemplar von Sarcophilus laniarius besitzt ein zusätzliches Element an der ulnaren Seite des Hamatums.


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zoologisches Institut, Spezielle ZoologieUniversität TübingenTübingenGermany

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