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New Week 30 - Opossum

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  • New Week 30 - Opossum

    Didelphia virginiana

    Type: Mammal
    Diet: Omnivore
    Size: Length from nose to tail, 2.5 ft (76 cm)
    Weight: 8.8 to 13.2 lb (4 to 6 kg)
    Group name: Passel

    There are more than 60 different species of opossum, which are often called possums. The most notable is the Virginia opossum or common opossum—the only marsupial (pouched mammal) found in the United States and Canada.

    A female opossum gives birth to helpless young as tiny as honeybees. Babies immediately crawl into the mother's pouch, where they continue to develop. As they get larger, they will go in and out of the pouch and sometimes ride on the mother's back as she hunts for food. Opossums may give birth to as many as 20 babies in a litter, but fewer than half of them survive. Some never even make it as far as the pouch.

    Opossums are scavengers, and they often visit human homes or settlements to raid garbage cans, dumpsters, and other containers. They are attracted to carrion and can often be spotted near roadkill. Opossums also eat grass, nuts, and fruit. They will hunt mice, birds, insects, worms, snakes, and even chickens.

    These animals are most famous for "playing possum." When threatened by dogs, foxes, or bobcats, opossums sometimes flop onto their sides and lie on the ground with their eyes closed or staring fixedly into space. They extend their tongues and generally appear to be dead. This ploy may put a predator off its guard and allow the opossum an opportunity to make its escape.

    Opossums are excellent tree climbers and spend much of their time aloft. They are aided in this by sharp claws, which dig into bark, and by a long prehensile (gripping) tail that can be used as an extra limb. Opossums nest in tree holes or in dens made by other animals.

    These animals are widespread and are sometimes hunted as food, particularly in the southern United States.
    There Is No Such Thing As Too Many Cats
    My Cats Are The Boss Of Me

  • #2
    I like them! I think they're cute My mom hates their tails though, she says they creep her out. We used to have one that'd walk through the yard, but we haven't seen any lately (though they are around). I found a few sites:

    News story: Baby opossum rescued from NY gym's soda machine‎ -13 hours ago
    ADW: Didelphis virginiana: Information
    Opossum Society of the United States
    Opossums | The Humane Society of the United States