A RARE new species of the carnivorous antechinus, a ‘mouse-like’ marsupial that mates so aggressively the male dies, has been discovered living in the Gold Coast hinterland. (Pictured is ‘the ‘Brown Antechinus’ – a relative of the new species, the ‘Black-tailed Antechinus. Image courtesy animal.memozee.com)
According to a report published in the scientific journal Zootaxa, researchers have reportedly discovered the new ‘black-tailed antechinus’ in “areas of high altitude and high rainfall on the Tweed Volcano caldera of far south-east Queensland and north-east New South Wales, Australia,” (wet areas in the Springbrook National Park between northern New South Wales and the Gold Coast Hinterland).
Dr Andrew Baker, from the Queensland University of Technology, told the ABC researchers were applying for an endangered species listing while they conducted more research.
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“They probably follow the typical pattern of antechinus, which is all males are dead before they turn one year old,” Dr Baker said.
It’s understood the Black-tailed Antechinus has plausibly been detrimentally affected by climate change in recent decades, and will be at further risk with increasing warming trends.
University of Queensland biologist Diana Fisher is quoted explaining the marsupial’s deadly mating habits to the ABC last year.
“What they do is just competitively mate, so they mate for a very long time, like 12 to 14 hours, some of the species,” she said.
“They do it over and over and over – they’re very promiscuous. There’s this huge intense mating season going on for about two weeks.”