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The Neurobiology of Australian Marsupials: Brain Evolution in the Other Mammalian Radiation

Edited By: Ken WS Ashwell

351 pages, 187 b/w photos & illustrations, 11 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Oct 2010 | #188492 | ISBN-13: 9780521519458
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £179.00 $234/€203 approx

About this book

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.

This volume provides a comprehensive review of the scientific literature on the structure and function of the nervous system of Australian marsupials. It 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.


1. Classification, evolution and behavioural ecology of Australian marsupials K. Ashwell;
2. Overview of marsupial brain organization and evolution K. Ashwell;
3. Development and sexual dimorphism K. Ashwell;
4. Ventral hindbrain and midbrain K. Ashwell;
5. Cerebellum, vestibular and precerebellar nuclei K. Ashwell;
6. Diencephalon and associated structures K. Ashwell;
7. Deep telencephalic structures K. Ashwell;
8. Cerebral cortex and claustrum/endopiriform complex K. Ashwell; 9. Visual system L. D. Beazley, C. Arrese and D. M. Hunt;
10. Somatosensory system L. Marotte, C. Leamey and P. Waite;
11. Auditory system L. Aitkin and R. K. Shepherd;
12. Olfactory system K. Ashwell;
13. Motor system and spinal cord K. Ashwell;
14. Australian marsupials as models of brain development L. Marotte, P. Waite and C. Leamey;
15. Australian marsupials as models of ageing and disease B. McAllan and S. J. Richardson;
16. Atlas of the brain of the stripe-faced dunnart (Sminthopsis macroura) K. Ashwell, B. McAllan and J. K. Mai;
17. Stereotaxic atlas of the brain of the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) K. Ashwell and L. Marotte;
18. Atlas of the brain of the developing tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) K. Ashwell, L. Marotte and J. K. Mai.

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Ken Ashwell has over 29 years in the neurosciences field, including teaching experience in medical anatomy, neuroscience, comparative anatomy and anthropology. He has published over 100 papers in international refereed neuroscience journals, ten book chapters and four books.

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