The Physiology and Evolution of Delayed Implantation in Carnivores

  • Rodney A. Mead


The duration of pregnancy in many, but not all, species of carnivores is much longer than one would predict on the basis of body size. The prolonged gestation is due in part to an arrest in embryonic development that can last from a few days to ten months, depending on the species. This form of embryonic diapause, referred to as obligate delay of implantation, occurs in seven of the 12 families of living carnivores (Mustelidae, Ursidae, Ailuropodidae, Ailuridae, Phocidae, Otaridae, and Odobenidae). Occurrence of delayed implantation within a given family, subfamily, or genus is not uniform (Table 16.1).


Corpus Luteum Black Bear Leopard Seal Mustela Vison Uterine Fluid 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1989

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  • Rodney A. Mead

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