Friday, May 25, 2007

First Marsupial Genome Sequence Published By Researchers

An international team, led by researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), have announced the publication of the first genome of a marsupial.

Marsupials are unique among mammals because their young are born at an extremely early stage of development, attach to their mother's teats and complete their subsequent development while in a protective pouch.

Marsupials and the ancestors of placental mammals diverged 180 million years ago. By comparing the opossum and human genomes, researchers were able to pinpoint genetic elements that are present in placental mammals, but missing from marsupials - that is, the genetic factors that may underlie many of the differences between the two types of mammals.
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Scienists are still searching for the koala "cuteness" gene.

Koala Joke #1

A Koala walks into a restaurant, sits down and orders dinner. After he has finished eating, the waiter brings him his bill. The koala suddenly shoots the waiter and heads for the door. The restaurant owner runs over and stops him.
"You can't come into my restaurant, eat my food, kill my waiter and then walk out! Who do you think you are?"
The koala says "A Koala. Look it up."
The owner gets a dictionary and looks up koala. It say, "Marsupial. Eats shoots and leaves."
(You know, as in shoots and leaves off a eucalyptus tree!)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Koalas for Old Milwaukee

Two Koalas from the San Diego Zoo are moving to Wisconsin this weekend!

Bamba and Muuri are both three-years old, and both are male.

They are part of San Diego's temporary loan program, and will be part of the Milwaukee County Zoo's Australian exhibit.

A zoo "keeper" will travel with them and stay until they are settled in.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Koala Twins!!!

Happy birthday Little Michele and Little Amanda!

These two little koala joeys have captured international attention after finally emerging from their mother's pouch to greet their adoring fans this week at China's Xiangjiang Safari Park.,,5482916,00.jpg

They are the first koala twins to be born in captivity since the early 1960s, when twin koalas were born at Sydney's Taronga Zoo.