rsos221180_si_001.docx (551.03 kB)
Gaschk et al. 2023_SuppMat_RPOS.docx from Resting disparity in quoll semelparity: examining the sex-linked behaviours of wild roaming northern quolls (Dasyurus hallucatus) during breeding season
journal contributionposted on 2023-01-31, 19:08 authored by Joshua L. Gaschk, Kaylah Del Simone, Robbie S. Wilson, Christofer J. Clemente
Semelparity is a breeding strategy whereby an individual invests large amounts of resources into a single breeding season, leading to the death of the individual. Male northern quolls (Dasyurus hallucatus) are the largest known mammal to experience a post-breeding die-off; however, the cause of their death is unknown, dissimilar from causes in other semelparous dasyurids. To identify potential differences between male northern quolls that breed once, and females that can breed for up to four seasons, the behaviours, activity budgets, speeds and distances travelled were examined. Northern quolls were captured on Groote Eylandt off the coast of the Northern Territory, Australia, and were fitted with accelerometers. A machine learning algorithm (Self-organizing Map) was trained on more than 76 h of recorded footage of quoll behaviours and used to predict behaviours in 42 days of data from wild roaming quolls (7M : 6F). Male northern quolls were more active (male 1.27 g, s.d. = 0.41; female 1.18 g, s.d. = 0.36), spent more time walking (13.09% male: 8.93% female) and engaged in less lying/resting behaviour than female northern quolls (7.67% male: 23.65% female). Reduced resting behaviour among males could explain the post-breeding death as the deterioration in appearance reflects that reported for sleep-deprived rodents.