Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences

Date of Last Revision

2023-05-05 20:59:55



Honors Course

Senior Honors Project in Biology

Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2022


The oral behavior of drinking includes interactions between the tongue, jaw, and liquid being ingested to provide hydration to the animal. Different mechanisms may be used to ingest liquid such as lapping, licking, or sucking. The objective of the study was to compare the mechanism of lapping across marsupial species through comparison of the length of gape cycle, and the amplitude of jaw pitch and tongue protraction between the two marsupial species, Didelphis virginiana and Monodelphis domestica. I hypothesized that there would be no differences in any of the variables for the lapping mechanism between species. Previous work demonstrates that carnivorans have a conservation of the lapping mechanism between species, which led to the basis of my hypothesis that I believe marsupials will lap in a similar manner to each other as well. The results show that each of the variables, when compared between species, did not have statistically significant differences, which suggests that the lapping mechanism between marsupials may also be conserved.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Rachel Olson

First Reader

Dr. Henry Astley

Second Reader

Dr. Randall Mitchell

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Brian Bagatto

Included in

Biology Commons



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