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Frozen embryos? Torpor during pregnancy in the Tasmanian short-beaked echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus setosus

Morrow, GE, Jones, SM ORCID: 0000-0001-8813-430X and Nicol, SC 2017 , 'Frozen embryos? Torpor during pregnancy in the Tasmanian short-beaked echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus setosus' , General and Comparative Endocrinology: An International Journal, vol. 244 , pp. 139-145 , doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.11.006.

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Abstract

We studied the interaction between torpor and reproduction in free-ranging female Tasmanian echidnas using a combination of techniques including urogenital smears, hormone analysis, ultrasonography, external temperature loggers and camera traps. Male echidnas initiated mating activity by locating hibernating females. All females that mated or were disturbed by males prior to July 27 re-entered hibernation, including many that were pregnant. Pregnant females only entered hibernation in early pregnancy when plasma progesterone concentrations were about twice basal and progesterone then remained constant during torpor. By re-entering hibernation pregnant females extended their gestation period and delayed egg-laying. Progesterone peaked 4–6 days before egg-laying, then dropped rapidly.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Morrow, GE and Jones, SM and Nicol, SC
Keywords: monotreme, progesterone, reproduction, torpor, vaginal cytology, short-beaked echidna
Journal or Publication Title: General and Comparative Endocrinology: An International Journal
Publisher: Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science
ISSN: 0016-6480
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2015.11.006
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2015 Elsevier Inc.

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