Monotreme and Marsupial Reproduction*
Marilyn B. Renfree
Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Kc. 3052, Australia.
Marsupials were regarded as curiosities by their early European discoverers, animals to be wondered at. Monotremes were even more surprising; the platypus was such an amalgam of characters that it was thought to be a hoax. They were recognized very early as mammals that could make a major contribution to our understanding of reproductive processes, and work on marsupials at the turn of the century was much in evidence. It is, however, only in the past two decades, and especially in the past few years that marsupial research has regained this position. There is no doubt that tuture research will strengthen this contribution, but we are faced with serious conservation questions that must be solved if we are to maintain these wonderful animals as a resource for future generations