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Persistent following by the alpha male and several secondary males, wild mating chases, and copulation were diagnostic of oestrous courtship.

Joeys typically began leaving the pouch late in the 8th month, became young-at-foot a month later, and were weaned by the 15th month.

The East end mob was studied intensively: each member was named, aged and sexed, and all gains and losses were recorded throughout the year.

Less intensive observations were made of the Tank 1 and Ringbark hill mobs.

Fertilization was apparently followed by two months of embryonic diapause.

Then gestation resumed for about one month so that the next young was born as soon as the previous joey vacated the pouch permanently at the age of 9 months.

Sexual checking of females and anoestrous courting were the most conspicuous interactions between adults.

Oestrous courting was limited to a few days around the female's receptive period, which lasted only a few hours.

Females might remain loosely associated with their mothers for years, but males left the mob or became completely independent within it by their 21st month.

Communication was primarily through visual signals, and an analysis of these shows remarkable convergence with the displays of ungulates.

In accordance with the whiptail's unaggressive nature, threat and submissive displays were less well developed than superiority and courtship displays and conflict activities.

Olfaction was primarily used for individual recognition and for sexual checking.

Auditory signals are poorly developed in macropods generally.


  1. Social ethology of the whiptail wallaby, Macropus parryi, in northeastern New South Wales

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