Visual capabilities in three species of marsupial with differing lifestyles

Catherine Arrese

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    [Truncated] This thesis focuses on the visual capabilities of three species of marsupials with differing lifestyles to assess the adaptability of their visual organisation in relation to ecological pressures. Combining anatomical, behavioural, physiological and ecological investigations, the study aimed to identify inter-relationships between visual perception, behaviour and environment in the arhythmic fat-tailed dunnart (Sminthopsis crassicaudata), crepuscular honey possum (Tarsipes rostratus) and diurnal numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus). Measurements of visual fields of view revealed extensive panoramic and binocular fields in the fat-tailed dunnart and honey possum, while the strong binocular vision of the numbat imposed restrictions on monocular fields. The wide panoramic vision of the fat-tailed dunnart and honey possum correlated with their status as prey. In contrast, priorities selecting for the extent of binocular fields differed, reflecting prey catching in the former and arboreal locomotion and nectar collection, in the latter. The entire visual field of the numbat, resulting from a compromise between monocular and binocular vision, was presumably related to the ancestral lifestyle of the species.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Western Australia
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2002

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