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Comparative Biology of Lactation

Although the monotremes - the platypus and the echidna - are oviparous, they sustain their young on milk for months. The processes of secretion of milk, milk ejection and suckling in these mammals is compared with those of the marsupials and the placentals.

The film is also concerned with the differences in the fatty-acid complements of the triglycerides of the milks of different mammals at various stages of growth of the young. These differences are illustrated particularly well by the red kangaroo, which has the most complex mammary physiology of all the mammals.

The film has a unique, slow motion sequence of the hatching and emergence from the egg of a monotreme.

Produced in 1974.

Libraries and tags

02:32:17 | Gentle waves rolling in to coast, sea lion swimming, leaping comes ashore
02:32:53 | Title over kangaroo and various mammals suckling
02:33:15 | Various mammals, sheep, kangaroos, rabbits, fox, echidna, platypus
02:33:53 | Sea lion suckling, human baby, marsupial mice, lambs, kangaroos, echidna all suckling
02:34:43 | Monotreme milk patch, milk expressed
02:34:53 | Nipples, teat, areola
02:35:00 | Echidna seeking food in dry landscape
02:35:13 | Echidna egg in pouchCU egg, slow motion of egg hatching - young echidna emerging from egg
02:35:38 | Black and white still. Newborn echidna showing tooth on upper jaw
02:35:46 | Echidna young sucking milk from milk patch, milk visible through body wall
02:36:06 | Black and white still.Dissection of mammary gland showing separate lobules
02:36:24 | Black and white.Section of lobule showing alveoli and lumina
02:36:45 | Election micrographs of secretory cells of echidna, rat, red kangaroo and platypus
02:37:28 | Enlarged to show myoepithelium
02:37:55 | Young echidna outside pouch energetically suckling
02:38:22 | Pig litter suckling sow
02:38:31 | Young echidna sucking, sea lion, suckling
02:38:52 | Graphics - graph of body weight against time of young echidna
02:39:10 | Young echidna in burrow
02:39:18 | Young echidna held on hand belly up showing mammary glands and areoli CU mammary gland
02:39:43 | Black and white still.Section of mammary gland of adult male echidna, section lobule, alveolar gland
02:40:03 | Three and half month old echidna, hand held
02:40:15 | Young echidna looking for ants
02:40:22 | Large young echidna sucking milk from female lying on her side
02:40:31 | Under side of young echidna snout, young platypus snout
02:40:43 | Platypus belly, covered by reddish brown fur
02:40:53 | Platypus, no fur on milk patches, milk ejected when squeezed, pipetted up
02:41:13 | Graphics - neurosecretory cells in brain secrete oxytocin, passed via bloodstream to mammary gland, milk forced to ducts
02:41:59 | Mammary gland of anaesthetised lactating platypus, oxytocin injected to platypus
02:42:31 | Time-lapse changes in mammary gland lobules
02:42:53 | Graphics sections mammary gland echidna, platypus, fox
02:43:45 | Platypuses caught in shallow stream reservoir, deep river, using nets and boats, ankle spur on male shown
02:45:11 | Milk expressed from female platypus and collected
02:45:27 | Young Red kangaroo suckling from female
02:45:38 | Kangaroos in fenced yard.One caught and anaesthetised, injected into tail
02:46:13 | Forty-two day old young sucking milk in pouch, heeler, offspring of the female, held in keepers arms
02:46:32 | 117 day old kangaroo attached to teat, taken off teat.View of four teats, two large, two small
02:47:04 | Heeler, head in pouch, sucking milk
02:47:15 | Pouch held open to see young kangaroo inside, young held outside pouch, mother's glands displayed, one large teat
02:47:48 | Young returned to pouch
02:48:01 | Young kangaroo hopping about near mother, returns to pouch, climbs inside, heeler sucking milk from female, head in pouch
02:48:31 | Graphics showing mammary glands through stages of development of young
02:49:52 | Section 2 lactating glands, at different stages
02:50:07 | Milk expressed from two enlarged teats, oxytocin injected into platypus, lobules of mammary gland exposed, to show changes milk expressed from teat
02:50:52 | New born kangaroo on teat in pouch, removed from teat, drops of milk expressed, collected in capillary tube
02:51:55 | Graphics - comparison of milk fat composition at varying ages of young kangaroo, also of echidna comparison of fatty acid analysis of milk
02:52:57 | Graphics - of kangaroo, echidna, platypus and man
02:53:50 | Pan through bush, echidna foraging for ants
02:53:57 | Human baby suckling at breast
02:54:10 | Termites on tray, on dish, eaten by echidna long tongue licking up termites
02:54:37 | Kangaroo on bare ground, echidna eating,platypus swimming in shallow stream
02:55:05 | Graphics - milk fat composition of rabbits and dingoes
02:55:14 | end
02:55:17 | Echidna suckling, red kangaroo at teat, milk expressed from two teats of red kangaroo, sealion
02:55:50 | credits