Let this be your warning.
According to new research led by the University of the Sunshine Coast (UniSC), male northern possums are so sexually active that they can lead to sleep deprivation and even death during a lustful night.
The northern possum is a carnivorous marsupial about the size of a small cat. With several extant populations in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and northern Queensland, the animal is critically endangered, with an estimated national population of around 100,000 individuals and a rapidly declining population. Decreasing.
A major factor in the decline of marsupials is the introduction of cane toads. Northern possums that eat or attack highly venomous invasive amphibians die and their numbers plummet.
Other risks to northern quoll populations are predation and habitat loss by feral cats.
However, the male’s vicious behavior of this species has not helped sustain the population.
“Male quolls breed for one season, while females can breed for up to four seasons.” Royal Society Open Science.
Read more: Australia’s environmental laws fail to protect endangered species, study finds
The team set out to find the physiological reasons for the short lifespans of male quolls.
Dr. Christopher Clemente, Lecturer at UniSC, said, “Something is definitely making their health worse in just one season, and we think it’s related to lack of sleep.” Sex is well documented in rodents, and many of the traits associated with sleep deprivation are present in male quolls but not in females.”
Among these traits are weight loss, aggressive behavior, and reckless behavior, all of which threaten survival.
Male northern puffins are somewhat counterintuitive in terms of attracting mates, but they spend so much time and energy on sexual exploitation that they ostensibly “let themselves go.” Less time spent grooming can make the condition worse and lead to more parasites.
Gaschk says the researchers “found that the behavior of male and female quolls is very different in many ways.”
Males slept and rested less and traveled longer distances than females.
“Two males, named Moimoi and Cayless, traveled 10.4 km and 9.4 km, respectively, in one night. The equivalent human distance based on average stride length would be about 35 to 40 km,” says Gashk. explains.
READ MORE: Australian Black Swan Genome Sequencing Reveals Iconic Bird Could Be Extinct by Avian Flu
The researchers suggest that the lack of rest meant the males paid less attention to finding food and avoiding predators.
“Long-term sleep deprivation and associated symptoms make recovery impossible and may explain the recorded cause of death in males after the breeding season,” says Gashku. “They are easy prey, unable to avoid vehicle crashes and simply die from exhaustion.”
Northern quolls are the largest mammals known to spend all their energy in one breeding season.
In Australia and Papua New Guinea, the researchers say data on northern vowels could help us understand the effects of sleep deprivation on other mammals, including those exhibiting semerparity.
“We want to determine if other family members, such as opossums, antechinus (marsupial mice), and Tasmanian devils, experience sleep deprivation,” Gashku adds. “Virginia Opossum (Didelphis Virginiana The Tasmanian devil does not undergo extinction, although it undergoes similar physiological changes to other Semerparos species (sacrophilus halissy) They experience a similar loss of condition and reduced immunity. “
“If male quolls abandon sleep at the expense of survival, quolls are an excellent model species for the effects of sleep deprivation on bodily function.”