Populations in western Canada and along the Pacific coast south to northern Baja California, Mexico, originated as introductions from the eastern United States. In the United States, the animal is typically referred to simply as a possum. Virginia opossums can vary considerably in size, with larger specimens found to the north of the opossum's range and smaller specimens in the tropics. …gestation is that of the Virginian opossum, about 12 days, and the longest that of the Indian elephant,...…, Marsupial, any of more than 250 species belonging to the infraclass Metatheria (sometimes...…. Opossums have the most teeth out of any other North American mammal, 50. – Source 7. They have long, hairless, prehensile tails and feet with an opposable hallux (or thumb) that help them hold on to branches. It has a white face and thin, black ears. It is not a matter of IF the opossum will become ill, it is a matter of when!. General Facts » The pouch young remain firmly attached to a nipple for their first 50 to 55 days. The tail slightly prehensile (grasping) and mostly hairless. The name “opossum” was used for the first time in western culture in 1608 by Captain John Smith. Born blind and naked and weighing about 0.13 gram (0.0046 ounce) apiece, these tiny, larvalike young crawl upward using their forelimbs as they seek the mother’s fur-lined pouch. The Virginia opossum, like all members of the family Didelphidae, has 50 teeth, and the last premolar is the only tooth that is replaced (that is, preceded by a milk tooth) in the adult. Each pouch young remains firmly attached to the nipple for the first 50–55 days of life. One of the coolest common opossum facts is that newborn opossum babies are only about the size of a raisin! The common opossum and Virginia opossum are found in the United States, Mexico, Central America, South America and Canada. Here are 13 Interesting Opossum facts. Opossum Facts. The fur is grayish and is everywhere except its ears, tail and feet. Fast Facts Description The Virginia opossum is gray or black with white-tipped guard hairs and a long, pointed snout. Classification, physical attributes, nesting habits and even a information on what "playing opossum" is all about. They have a number of distinguishing characteristics that are typically unknown to … Its ears, eyes, eye rings, and feet and the basal one-third to one-half of the naked tail are black. Virginia Opossum on The IUCN Red List site -, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_opossum, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/40502/0. Teeth. Gestation period is 12 – 14 days. The only opossum species occurring north of Mexico is the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), which ranges from lower eastern Canada and Puget Sound southward to Costa Rica; other members of that genus are found in South America.The Virginia opossum may grow to 100 cm (40 inches) in length (including the tail) and is about the size of a house cat. Read on for more opossum facts. Interesting Opossum Facts! It is from the Algonquin word “apasum”, meaning “white animal.”. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. The Virginia opossum ( Didelphis virginiana) is probably the only North American marsupial. Virginia opossums have a long head and pointed snout, rounded naked ears, and a scaly, nearly hairless, prehensile tail that is about half of their total length. It has a triangular head and a long pointed nose. It is familiar to many North Americans as they frequently inhabit settled areas due to the associated proximity to food sources, notably trash cans. Each foot has five toes; one toe is opposable. The body is shaped like a large cat and has a long pointed tail with a scaly appearance. There is a formidable array of some 50 small, sharp teeth in the mouth. Virginia opossums have a long head and pointed snout, rounded naked ears, and a scaly, nearly hairless, prehensile tail that is about half of their total length. The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) and the common opossum (D. marsupialis) can be found together in eastern and southern Mexico and in Central America. They den under stumps, in hollow trees and logs, and in buildings and rock piles. Instead, it waddles in, eats a rodent, scarfs down some insects and snails, munches on fallen fruit, and Opossum is the common name for various small- to medium-sized marsupial mammals. Fast facts about the only native North Amercian marsupial, the Virginia opossum North America's only marsupial (female has a pouch) mammal. This is a study specimen of a juvenile opossum. This behaviour has given rise to the expression “playing possum.” Fat opossums were once a popular food in the southern United States, and possum hunting was a popular sport. They have a reputation as being very slow and clumsy. Though they aren't picky about where they hang out, opossums love trees and will stay aloft in trees as much as possible. The size of a house cat, males average about 3 kg (6.6 pounds), females about 2 kg (4.4 pounds). If caught on the ground and not able to escape, a Virginia opossum may become catatonic. The coarse coat of long guard hair overlying the shorter, dense underfur may be either pale gray (gray phase) or mainly black (black phase). Most body functions remain normal, but the animal appears to be unconscious or dead. The Virginia opossum was once widely hunted and consumed in … Virginia Opossums are 2 to 3 feet (61 to 91 cm) long, plus a tail length of 8 to 13 (20 to 33 cm) inches. 6. Their underfur is usually whitish and tipped in black, but their coloration varies throughout their range. And they often prefer to “play possum” in stressful situations and hope the problem goes away, rather than confront it head-on. Sources vary widely about their weight, with some reporting a range of 4.6 to 6.2 pounds (2.1 to 2.8 kg) and others as high as 8.8 to 13.2 pounds (4 to 6 kg). The Virginia opossum has a total of 50 teeth, more than any other North American mammal. The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial found in North America north of Mexico. The Virginia opossum can often be found in wooded areas, though its habitat may vary widely. The Virginia opossum is North America's only marsupial. Adult opossums weigh about 2-6 kg (4-14 lbs). VIRGINIA OPOSSUM FACTS Description The Virginia Opossum has a long head and pointed snout, with long whiskers. "Didelphia" is Greek, meaning "two wombs," and "Virginiana" is modern Latin meaning "of Virginia," the state where opossums were first discovered. The common opossum is found in Central America and the northern South America. Below, explore facts about the Virginia opossum including its habits and how to identify damage. Most reproductive females are under a year of age, and few live long enough to breed a second year. Currently this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are increasing. Sometimes they will eat garbage and carrion. The opossum has a heavyset body covered with grayish fur. Opossum Facts Knowledge is key when it comes to wildlife control and we have lots of fun facts on opossums for you too. Opossums are optimistic omnivores cleaning up our environment each night of trash, road kill, even keeping those pesky rodents and … Opossum eyes do have whites and irises, but because their pupils are so large, their eyes appear completely black from a distance. They are very good climbers and may establish their dens in trees. Dangerous insects, especially disease-carrying ticks. The scientific name for the opossum is Didelphia virginiana. The opossum (order Didelphimorphia) is the only marsupial found in the Americas. The Virginia Opossums are absent from the Plains and arid southwest of the United States. Although they prefer deciduous woodlands with streams, they use all habitats within their range. The brief gestation period is 12 to 13 days and up to 25 young may be produced in each litter. The opossum has a long, pointed face with black eyes, long whiskers and a distinctive pink nose. A group of opossums is called a passel. The animal lives in a wide range of habitats, including open woods, deciduous forests, and farmland. Virginia opossum The "o" is important Type Mammals Area North America Endangered Status Stable facts size 2.5 feet in length, from nose to tail An average soccer ball is 8.65 inches tall. As many as 25 young may be born in each litter, but the maximum number raised by the mother is determined by the number of teats (normally 13) in the pouch, and the average number of pouch young is usually 7 or 8. Reciprocity and Mr. Protection.Source Males are usually larger than females. Their breathing even slows down for a few minutes or up to several hours. The name was adapted from the Native American Algonquin term ‘ apasum ’, which mean white animal. However, the total number that can be raised is determined by how many teats (normally 13) are in the pouch. This play can enable the opossum to escape predation, as most predators do not eat carrion. Opossum Facts: 1. The opossum is the only species of marsupial (mammals with a pouch in which they carry their young) that is found outside of Australia an it's surrounding islands. An opossum is about the size of a house cat. The Virginia Opossum has long been found in much of what is now Central America, Me… Virginia opossums can walk on all fours along a branch, and then sit up and support themselves on their hindquarters. In that sense, Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) are perfectly suited for life in the city.They avoid unwanted attention by foraging primarily at night. The young are 1 centimetre (0.4 inches) in length and are born under-developed as with all marsupials. Amongst their fur are long white-tipped guard hairs. Opossum Facts 36 Outrageous Opossum Facts By Madeline Thatcher, Associate Writer Published September 30, 2019 Opossums are marsupials, meaning that females carry their young in a pouch on their stomach. They only remain in one den for a long period when weaning young. Not all marsupials live in Australia; around 100 species are found in the Americas, and it is thought that it was here that the first marsupials appeared. The Didelphis Virginiana, known as the Virginia Opossum is North America's only marsupial. The name opossum was created after the discovery of North America’s only opossum, the Virginia opossum. The opossum is about the size of a large house cat. They measure 13–37 in (35–94 cm) long from their snout to the base of the tail, with the tail adding another 8.5–19 in (21.6–47 cm). Most, if not all, marsupials live in Australia. The opossum (order Didelphimorphia) is the only marsupial found in the Americas. The Virginia opossum lives in regions as far north as Canada and as far south as Central America, while other types of opossums only inhabit countries south of the United States. The toes and the tips of the ears usually are white in northern populations and black in Mexico and Central America. There are more than 60 different species of opossum. Gestation is 12–13 days. Their prepared habitat is wooded or shrubby. The opossum has been around for at least 70 million years and is one of Earth's oldest surviving mammals! They begin their nightly activities at dusk and are active until dawn. The Virginia Opossum is about 2.5 feet (76 cm) long, including its foot-long, hairless, prehensile (grasping) tail. Opossums Kill Ticks by the Thousands ... Outside of Mexico, the Virginia opossum is the only known marsupial to make its home in North America – although there are several other species of opossum that can be found in other parts of the world. They will tolerate being poked or prodded and even bitten by an animal without reacting. Each of the female’s nipples, which have become enlarged and elongated by the first litter, develops a small projection (papilla) to which the newborn from the second litter attaches. However, the Center for Disease Control reports that in the United States, the vast majority of recorded rabies cases come from the bite of 4 animals - raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats. Virginia opossums are nocturnal, solitary and terrestrial. Their ears are large and delicate and the tail is prehensile, adapted for gripping and wrapping around tree limbs. Transverse plates develop on the roof of the mouth to anchor the young to the nipple. Depending on the species, female opossums have 5-13 nipples available to offspring, while … They live alone, are active at night, and they are good climbers. The body is shaped like a large cat and has a long pointed tail with a scaly appearance. Adult opossums reach an overall body length of 13–37 inches with a tail measuring at 8.5–19 inches. Opossums are good to have around. There are several dozen different species of opossum, which are often called possums in North America. A marsupial is an animal with a pouch, like a kangaroo or a koala. Opossum Waleed-July 10, 2018 0 The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is North America’s only marsupial. Opossums are nature’s pest control and trash management. They have five toes on each foot, the “big toe” on the hind foot lacks a claw but is an opposable thumb, and a pouch for young develops during breeding season on the female. It has a long, prehensile tail and short legs with sharp claws. The fur color may differ according to the population’s range. Facts about possums often include claims that they are disease-carrying dangerous creatures. The only opossum species occurring north of Mexico is the. Rare in the north, black-phase individuals are more common in the southern United States and farther south. It’s late autumn/early winter, and I see dead possums. North America’s only marsupial mammal (female has a pouch) Have 50 sharp teeth and can eat almost anything Natural immunity to rabies (8 times less likely to carry rabies than wild dogs) Have partial or total immunity to snake venom; Size Approximately 609 to 914 mm (24 to 36 inches) Weight 2.7 to 5.9 kg (6 to 13 lbs.) Virginia opossums deal with extreme heat by cooling themselves down by spreading their saliva. The average number of young is typically 7 or 8. Benjamin Harrison had two pet opossums named Mr. If caught on the ground and not able to escape, a Virginia opossum may become catatonic, appearing to be unconscious or dead. VIRGINIA OPOSSUM FACTS. They are very good climbers and may establish their dens in trees. Virginia opossums may have a better chance of survival in urban environments partially because there are fewer predators. POSTURE. Let’s meet They are about the same size as a large house cat, having a triangular head with a long pointed nose. Meet the virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) including their appearance, diet, habitat, range, breeding, facts and behavior. There are more than 60 species of opossum. Opossums have the greatest number of teeth of any land mammal: fifty of them, razor sharp. Geographic Range. Didelphis virginiana UF 56621, a mandible belonging to this species Quick Facts Common Name: Virginia opossum, North American opossum The family Didelphidae originated in the Cretaceous and … White hair covers its face, and its body is a sparse, coarse grizzl… Interesting Facts About the Opossum Opossums, the only naturally occurring marsupial in North America, are incredibly interesting creatures. Fun Facts About Opossums When they are born, baby opossums are only about the size of a bee. Natural Scavengers and Stealthy Hunters Opossums are natural scavengers, a tendency which has caused them to run afoul of humans for years by raiding their garbage. Virginia opossums are nocturnal, solitary and terrestrial. These opossums are scavengers, making them very important in their habitat. The truth is just the opposite: Opossums are smarter, cleaner, and more beneficial to humans than many of their woodland neighbors. The common opossum, also known as the Virginia opossum, is a somewhat maligned but fascinating creature. Although they are still trapped, their fur has a low market value. Its long head has a pointed snout, long whiskers and 50 sharp teeth. Nor does it dig or claw. We have our opossum, a living piece of the Cretaceous. The face is white in northern populations and dusky brown or blackish in populations from Texas southward but always with a white cheek patch—a characteristic used to identify this species where it occurs together (sympatry) with the common opossum. Virginia opossums are unaffected by the venom of a variety of snakes from Family Viperidae including eastern and western diamondback rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouth moccasins and Korean mamusi. These marsupials are great climbers. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Some Facts on the Opossum Advertisement There are 65 different species of opossums. Photo by Cody Pope (Wikimedia). Virginia opossums are omnivorous and will eat almost anything, including many different plants such as fruits, and small animals and insects. The opossum has been around for at least 70 million years and is one of Earth's oldest surviving mammals! Lifespan. The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the single species found in the United States, but at least 103 species occur in the Western Hemisphere.The word "opossum" comes from the Powhatan or Algonquian name for the animal, which roughly translates as "white dog." Only one species of opossum, the Virginia opossum, lives in the United States and Canada. And irises, but because their pupils are so large, their fur has a triangular head and a pointed. 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