Date of Defense

Spring 4-17-2003


Biological Sciences

First Advisor

David Karowe, Biological Sciences

Second Advisor

Suzan Olson

Third Advisor

William Jackson, Biological Sciences


marsupials, metatheria


It has been observed in the capture and care of small macropods that decreases in tail fat stores often indicate infection in an animal. To investigate this relationship, 89 Tammar Wallabies (Macropus eugenii) were measured and studied in an Australian wildlife research center. Correlations were run to the relationship between the circumference of the tail (relative to an animal's size) and a count of its white blood cells. The significant relationship between these variables found in all male and all female categories arose only because, in both sexes, juvenile animals had less tail fat and a higher WBC count than adults. With the possible exception of adult males, no individual sex and age category showed a significant correlation. Further study, involving a larger number of animals with highly infected individuals, could provide a more powerful indicator of existing pathophysiological relationships. Usefulness of this indicator of infection for Tammar Wallabies will depend on the severity of infection required before this simple, inexpensive and gentle test can be effectively employed.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only