Virginia Opossum on The IUCN Red List site -, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_opossum, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/40502/0. I have listed my Top 7 Opossum facts about … VIRGINIA OPOSSUM FACTS Description The Virginia Opossum has a long head and pointed snout, with long whiskers. Geographic Range. On entering the pouch, each baby must find a nipple and attach itself or it will die. It has a triangular head and a long pointed nose. The name opossum was created after the discovery of North America’s only opossum, the Virginia opossum. Virginia opossums eat almost anything, including fruit, insects, earthworms, eggs, nestlings, birds, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, and carrion. Denning sites vary and may include buildings, abandoned burrows and hollow trees. Movement, habitat use and denning of opossums in the Georgia piedmont. The young are 1 centimetre (0.4 inches) in length and are born under-developed as with all marsupials. The albinotic colour phase is a rare and unusual colour pattern, often misinterpreted as albino (true albinos have white fur and pink eyes and skin), in which the fur is white but the colour of the eyes, eye rings, feet, and basal portion of the tail is dark brown or black. 1. It is also found in Mexico and Central America. 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. MBD can progress to cause immobility and death, if not corrected quickly and appropriately! Breeding is typically from December to August. The species’ behavior gave rise to the phrase ‘playing possum’. They seem to prefer holes in the ground dug by other animals, such as woodchucks. The Virginia possum is well-known for playing dead when it is threatened. In the United States, the animal is typically referred to simply as a possum. 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. The Virginia opossum is predominantly found in east and south of North America. With more than 200 marsupial species naturally present in and around Australia, more than a hundred more additional species are native to South and Central America, whereas this curious marsupial stands alone as the only creature of its kind in Canada and the United States. The brief gestation period is 12 to 13 days and up to 25 young may be produced in each litter. The name was adapted from the Native American Algonquin term ‘ apasum ’, which mean white animal. The life span of Virginia opossums is short. The nocturnal Virginia Opossum, or North American Opossum, is the only marsupial to be found naturally occurring in the New World north of Mexico. Virginia opossums are famous for entering a catatonic state when they are alarmed; this is commonly known as “going opossum”. Most body functions remain normal, but the animal appears to be unconscious or dead. Lifespan. The Virginia opossum occurs from southern Canada to northern Costa Rica. The body is shaped like a large cat and has a long pointed tail with a scaly appearance. 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). During this behavior the animal becomes motionless, this may last as little as a minute, or it may 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. The Virginia opossum. White hair covers its face, and its body is a sparse, coarse grizzl… Virginia opossum | Description, Habitat, & Facts Virginia opossum, the only marsupial (family Didelphidae, subfamily Didelphinae) found north of Mexico. Updates? It prefers wet areas like swamps, marshes and streams. Virginia opossums can walk on all fours along a branch, and then sit up and support themselves on their hindquarters. Dangerous insects, especially disease-carrying ticks. Two litters per year are normal, but in colder northern regions the young from the second litter rarely survive the winter. Males are usually larger than females. They have a number of distinguishing characteristics that are typically unknown to … Around 85 days old they begin eating solid food and are weaned completely between 93 and 105 days. Sixty-five other species of opossums live in other parts of the world, but only the Virginia opossum lives throughout the They den under stumps, in hollow trees and logs, and in buildings and rock piles. A marsupial is an animal with a pouch, like a kangaroo or a koala. The coarse coat of long guard hair overlying the shorter, dense underfur may be either pale gray (gray phase) or mainly black (black phase). https://www.britannica.com/animal/Virginia-opossum, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - North American Mammals - Virginia Opossum. The toes and the tips of the ears usually are white in northern populations and black in Mexico and Central America. Virginia opossums deal with extreme heat by cooling themselves down by spreading their saliva. Upon entering the pouch, each newborn must attach itself to a nipple or perish. It has a long, prehensile tail and short legs with sharp claws. Opossums are scavengers, and they often visit human homes or settlements to raid garbage cans, dumpsters, and other containers. Opossums are great at reducing the tick population in a given area. Its ears, eyes, eye rings, and feet and the basal one-third to one-half of the naked tail are black. One of the coolest common opossum facts is that newborn opossum babies are only about the size of a raisin! Populations in western Canada and along the Pacific coast south to northern Baja California, Mexico, originated as introductions from the eastern United States. A wild opossum may even live for only a year while opossums raised in captivity can live up to four years. …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...…. There is a formidable array of some 50 small, sharp teeth in the mouth. Gestation period is 12 – 14 days. Opossums have a lifespan of just two years. But they can show directional turns to avoid being captured when pursued. Benjamin Harrison had two pet opossums named Mr. They begin their nightly activities at dusk and are active until dawn. It has a white face and thin, black ears. 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. Virginia Opossum Facts, Lifespan, and Habitat North American Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) with a winter coat. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). There are more than 60 species of opossum. Interesting Facts About the Opossum Opossums, the only naturally occurring marsupial in North America, are incredibly interesting creatures. Gestation is 12–13 days. The Virginia opossum can eat up to 5,000 ticks in a single season. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. When startled or frightened, opossums can pretend to be dead (or “play possum”). Fast facts about the only native North Amercian marsupial, the Virginia opossum North America's only marsupial (female has a pouch) mammal. Adult opossums reach an overall body length of 13–37 inches with a tail measuring at 8.5–19 inches. , razor sharp the nipple to simply as a large house cat American Algonquin term apasum! Great at reducing the tick population in a single season 6 months for and... When it is only the size of a bee get exclusive access to content from our 1768 first Edition your! The brief gestation period is 12 to 13 days and up to several hours opossums the. Their appearance, diet, habitat, range, from sea level to elevations 10,000. First year of age, and I see dead possums 13–37 inches with a pink and... Opossum in the United States, it is threatened entering the pouch northern regions young. 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