As part of the systematic investigation of adrenal function in marsupials, the following data were obtained from the common wombat (Vombatus hirsutus), a bear-like burrowing marsupial restricted to south-eastern Australia (see Troughton, 1957).
Four wombats, three males and one female weighing 25–30 kg., were anaesthetized with ether, followed by i.v. sodium pentobarbitone. The left adrenal gland, which has a single vein draining into the left renal vein, was exposed through a midline incision. The procedures for collecting adrenal venous blood and steroid assay have been described previously (Weiss & McDonald, 1965). The quantitative estimates were confirmed by measurement of absorbance in u.v. light and Porter-Silber chromogens (Silber & Porter, 1954) for cortisol, and u.v. light absorbance only for corticosterone. To assay tetrahydrocortisol and cortisone, the deproteinized watery fraction of plasma was hydrolysed with β-glucuronidase/aryl sulphatase (Boehringer and Soehne, Mannheim, Germany). The purified extract was chromatographed in system B/50 and the