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(Juvenile) North American Opossum

Didelphis virginiana

Description:

This series and video is of a juvenile about 38 cm long including the tail. The fifth image is of another Opossum that was with this one and is injured. The last image shows how Opossums use their tail to descend. "They measure 13–37 inches (35–94 cm) long from their snout to the base of the tail, with the tail adding another 8.5–19 inches (21.6–47 cm). Weight for males ranges from 1.7 to 14 pounds (0.8–6.4 kg) and for females from 11 ounces to 8.2 pounds (0.3–3.7 kg). They are one of the world's most variably sized mammals, since a large male from northern North America weighs about 20 times as much as a small female from the tropics. Their coats are a dull grayish brown, other than on their faces, which are white. Opossums have long, hairless, prehensile tails, which can be used to grab branches and carry small objects. They also have hairless ears and a long, flat nose. Opossums have 50 teeth, the most out of any North American mammal, and opposable, clawless thumbs on their rear limbs." - Wikipedia

Habitat:

Avocado tree and duck feeder in backyard. "The Virginia opossum is found throughout Central America and North America east of the Rockies from Costa Rica to southern Ontario." - Wikipedia

Notes:

It "is the only marsupial found in North America north of Mexico. When injured or threatened, the Virginia opossum is well known for attempting to fake death or "play possum". Opossums, like most marsupials, have unusually short life spans for their size and metabolic rate. The Virginia opossum has a maximal life span in the wild of only about two years. The Virginia opossum has one of the lowest encephalization quotients of any marsupial. Its brain is 5 times smaller than that of a raccoon." - Wikipedia

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8 Comments

Thank you freelancing. I too think this youngster is cute. There are now three of them in our yard that like to feed on leftover duck food at night.

freelancing
freelancing 9 years ago

Very cute specimen. I've never found possums to be that cute - but on rare occasion, there is one that is particularly charming - and this is one of them.

Thank you all. I was fortunate to have a brave and mellow juvenile that let me get about 6 feet away. I wasn't going to push my luck further! I usually just see the eyes reflecting from the trees.

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 9 years ago

Nice series, Cindy!

BrandonBlount
BrandonBlount 9 years ago

Awesome Series!

KarenL
KarenL 9 years ago

Very cute!

CindyBinghamKeiser
CindyBinghamKeiser 9 years ago

Thank you Maria

Maria dB
Maria dB 9 years ago

nice series and explanation about what we are seeing!

San Diego, California, USA

Spotted on May 16, 2012
Submitted on May 17, 2012

Reference

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