Opossum Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Didelphis Virginiana
Opossum Physical Characteristics
Brown, Grey, Black, White
2-7 years
Top speed
15 mph
0.5-6kg (1.1-13lbs)
Opossum Distribition

Marsupials hold the distinction of being the only marsupial that lives in the United States and likewise Canada!

Throughout much of United States history, marsupials were animals that were thoroughly gone after and likewise absorbed by people. Although this keeps in some places of the south united state, these smart marsupials are presently better described as bugs as a result of their scavenging techniques that leave garbage can overthrew and likewise messes in their wake. They continue to be to be typically gone after in various parts of Central and likewise South America; actually, restrictions have really been developed to subdue overhunting of these animals in those places.

Interesting Opossum Realities!

  • Marsupials are animals that originate from South America and likewise are believed to have really entered The USA and Canada throughout the Exceptional American Interchange, which is when the continents connected and likewise is believed to have really occurred concerning 2.7 million years back.
  • Simply one species of opossum, the Virginia opossum, lives in the United States and likewise Canada. It is also described as the common opossum.
  • Like different other marsupials, these animals have a bag where babies are kept while they create.
  • Marsupials have 50 teeth, which is above any kind of type of different other land- based animal in The USA and Canada.
  • Although they share an equivalent name, marsupials of North, Central, and likewise South America are not attached to arboreal marsupials of the suborder Phalangeriformes, which are often called possums yet are belonging to the Eastern Hemisphere.

Opossum Scientific Name

Including above 103 species that cover 19 different classification, the scientific name for marsupials is Didelphidae This animal is recognized in the order of Didelphimorphia, which is the most significant in the Western Hemisphere. The term reveals the fact that these marsupials primarily have 2 wombs– one in which babies in the beginning increase and likewise a bag where they continue to be to create– with “di” suggesting “2” and likewise “delphus” suggesting “womb.” The Virginia opossum, the only species in the united state and likewise Canada, has the scientific name of Didelphis virginiana.

Words “opossum” was preliminary videotaped in between the years 1607 and likewise 1611. It is believed to have really been acquired from the Powhatan language and likewise stemmed from a Proto- Algonquian word, “apousoum,” which suggests “white dog or dog- like animal.” The preliminary videotaped situations of words can be mapped back to John Smith and likewise the Jamestown flock of Virginia.

Opossum Appearance

A type of animal described as a marsupial, a completely increased opossum is about the measurement of a housecat. Typically, possums, as they are also identified, determine concerning 2.5 feet long from nose to tail and likewise think about in between 8.8 and likewise 13.2 additional pounds. Generally grey in color, these animals generally have white faces and likewise long, intended noses. Inside their mouths are 50 teeth– above any kind of type of different other land- based animal in The USA and Canada.

In addition to having 4 quick arm or legs, they have really specialized tails that they use in an option of approaches. Because these rat- like tails can understanding onto factors, they are taken into consideration prehensile. Lots of many thanks to this quality, marsupials can use their tails to assist keep their balance, to help in climbing trees, and likewise to maintain nesting items while climbing. Young animals use their prehensile tails to stick onto their mothers’ backs while being brought about. In contrast to usual idea, however, marsupials do not hang inverted from trees by their tails like bats.

These animals’ back legs also consist of opposable thumbs, which allow them to maintain branches and so forth far more efficiently.

Males are generally a little larger than females. They also have larger canine teeth and likewise frequently have a tendency to be considerably bigger.

Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in a juniper tree in northeastern Ohio.
Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) in a juniper tree in northeastern Ohio.WolfmanSF– Public Domain Name Call.

Opossum Activities

Particular and likewise nomadic typically, marsupials are animals that have a special, slow-moving- transferring, impeding ways of browsing. Primarily energised throughout the evening, when they feed upon for food and likewise join a great deal of different other jobs, these animals’ eyes are well- gotten used to darkness. By day, marsupials frequently have a tendency to den up in sensible tooth dental caries rather than making their really own nests. Circumstances contain within tree openings and likewise brush heaps or below made structures.

Throughout the warmer months, these marsupials frequently have a tendency to continue to be on the moving. They generally travel any kind of area food takes them. In the winter, these marsupials frequently have a tendency to stick around in far more lengthy- term nesting web sites. Nevertheless, they remain to be sensibly energised throughout the chillier months and likewise subsequently are unreal hibernators.

Amongst among one of the most well- identified habits features of these animals is their tendency to give up when tested bypredators Furthermore described as “playing possum,” the approach is a second resort if the animal’s initial action to a danger– hissing, revealing its teeth, and likewise barking– fails to horrify it away. If an awesome remains to strike, the animal will definitely become totally limp and likewise enter a virtually comatose state. Rolled over on its side, the marsupial may close its eyes or leave them looking blankly right into location. With its tongue increased, the animal can turn up very dead. What people generally do not identify is that marsupials also generally eliminate and likewise create an unpleasant- scenting, eco- pleasant substance from its anal glands while giving up. The animal may remain to remain in this state for as high as 6 humans resources; throughout that time, its breathing and likewise heart cost decrease considerably.

Although they’re eliminated arboreal marsupials (which live in trees), they are excellent tree mountain climbers and likewise spend a great deal of time up in covers. They have sharp claws that are excellent for recognizing right into tree bark, and likewise they use their prehensile tails to assist in climbing and likewise guiding around. Incredibly, marsupials can also clean themselves of ticks and likewise can absorbing upwards of 5,000 of them per duration.

Opossum Setting

Simply a singular species of opossum, the Virginia opossum, lies in the United States and likewise Canada. This species’ setting increases right into north Canada and likewise as much southerly as Central America. South of there, great deals of included species of opossum may be situated.

Marsupials have really readjusted for survival in North, Central, and likewise South America by producing prehensile tails that permit them hold tree arm or legs. The opposable thumbs on their back legs help hereof likewise.

Provided the significant place that they inhabit, marsupials can making it with throughout an option of settings.

Opossum Diet

Marsupials are scavengers. Easily, they are also omnivores, which suggests that they accept feed upon both plant and likewise animal items for subsistence. They are well- identified for scavenging from individuals; especially, they frequently have a tendency to become part of dumpsters, garbage can, and so forth looking for food.

Marsupials are also attracted to carrion (deteriorating flesh), so they are generally seen consuming roadkill. Overall, marsupials’ diet routines generally consist of fruit, yard, and likewise various kind of nuts.

These animals will definitely also mission birds, computer system mice, worms, snakes, insects, and likewise likewise fowls. Numerous species of opossum are unsusceptible to the toxin of rattlesnakes and likewise pit vipers and likewise are subsequently able to prey upon those animals. This diet convenience is amongst the various functions that have really made the opossum such a reliable species.

Wanted the overall info on the marsupials diet? Offer our introduction ‘What Do Possums Eat’ a read!

Opossums Predators and likewise Hazards

Human beings are the best danger to marsupials. Although not common in the United States any kind of longer, these animals were when gone after and likewise absorbed often; President Jimmy Carter was identified to mission them. Opossum looking keeps famous in various parts of Central and likewise South America, where local government have really placed restrictions on looking possums. Nevertheless, marsupials are recognized as “the really the very least issue” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) so they are eliminated to be endangered.

Leisure, Kid, and likewise Life span

Marsupials mate from the mid- winter using the mid- summer season. In a singular year, a female opossum can have various mess of youngster marsupials. After mating, female marsupials generally provide in worrying 2 weeks.

As high as 20 marsupials may be birthed in a singular garbage. Typically, however, much less than half make it with. When they are birthed, youngster marsupials are virtually completely vulnerable. Blind, naked, and likewise virtually clear in appearance, newborn marsupials scale worrying half an inch in dimension and likewise think about just 1/200th of an ounce; this makes them about the measurement of a honeybee.

Right now after being birthed, youngster marsupials sneak right into their mother’s bag. There, they encounter a horseshoe- made strategy of 13 teats, which they as soon as possible obtain. Those that are left without a teat to obtain perish. When secured on, the teat blows up and likewise remains in setting in the youngster’s mouth for a period of worrying 2 months. After that, the babies’ eyes start opening, and likewise they start emerging from the bag once in a while and likewise may be produced on their mothers’ backs while looking. They become totally independent at around 3 months old.

The normal life span of the common, or Virginia, opossum is one to 2 years.

Opossum Populace

Although they come across various predators– most particularly, individuals, dogs, and likewise cats– marsupials are survivors that recreate promptly. Subsequently, their populations have really remained to be safe in modern-day- day times, and likewise they are not identified as being endangered animals.


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