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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. Virginia opossums are often seen as pests and in many states, it is illegal to keep this species as a pet. These marsupials are great climbers. Litters are produced in two peak periods: January-March and May-July. Their rather distant marsupial relatives in Australia and New Zealand are technically possums. This trait is true of all marsupials. Opossums are omnivorous. So, the answer is yes. Scientific Name: Didelphis virginiana Common Name(s): Virginia Opossum, Possum Identification: Virginia opossums Didelphis virginiana are the only marsupial (mammals with a pouch) in North America. The tail of the Virginia Opossum is 10”-12” (25-30 cm) in length. Informally, most folks just call them ‘possums. A opossum with open eyes is likely to be at least 70 days old. They will utilize just about any sheltered location for a den including hollows in trees and fallen logs, rock cavities, brush piles, and the burrows of other animals. Facts about possums often include claims that they are disease-carrying dangerous creatures. The opossum uses its prehensile tail to bring nesting material such as leaves, grass, and other material into the den. Virginia opossums have robust bodies and short legs with sharp claws. It has grayish fur everywhere but on its ears, feet, and tail. It is common in the eastern USA and has spread north and west. Reproduction: In California, the Virginia opossum mates in January-February and June-July. The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial found north of Mexico. Description of the Opossum. Opossums are covered with long grey to black … {{selectAgreementHeader}} {{selectedOption.friendlyName}} Toutes les licences libres de droits … The common opossum, also known as the Virginia opossum, is a somewhat maligned but fascinating creature. Adult opossums can range in size from 24 to 33 inches and they weigh between 6 and 15 pounds with the males generally being slightly larger than the females. Opossums belong to the Didelphidae family (New World Opossums). The opossum has been around for at least 70 million years and is one of Earth's oldest surviving mammals! The Virginia opossum is about the size of a cat. 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 is about 2.5 feet (76 cm) long, including its foot-long, hairless, prehensile (grasping) tail. Sunday 12PM - 5PM, Wildlife Clinic Hours The average litter contains six to nine babies. In a few months they will reproduce and continue the fascinating life cycle of the Virginia opossum. These may be under-estimates, as some sources claim Virginia opossums’ body weight ranges from 3 to 6 kg. Baby opossums, called joeys, are only about the size of a honeybee when they are born. The litter size may range from five to 13 young, the average size being eight. The Virginia opossum is about the size of a large house cat. Opossums pose little threat to humans, their property or pets. Females have a furlined pouch on their abdomen into which these tiny, under-developed young crawl. It has a triangular head and a long, pointed nose. The species is polyestrous, with an estrous cycle of 22-38 days. White hair covers its face, and its body is a sparse, coarse grizzle … A prehensile tail is adapted for grasping and w… Virginia opossums can live as long as 2 years in the wild. Its preferred habitat is forested areas, preferably close to water. You may encounter opossums in the back yards of houses, leading some people to worry about the threat these creatures pose to humans and their pets. A marsupial is an animal with a pouch. They have pink nose and narrow snout. The Virginia opossum breeds in late January to early July, after which the female constructs a nest in the hollow of a tree or an abandoned burrow. This page is dedicated to the anatomy and misc medical issues of the Virginia Opossum. >>  Virginia opossums are nocturnal (most active at night). The Virginia opossum is the most commonly known opossum. However, adult size varies greatly: males tend to be larger than females, northern specimens outgrow those in the tropics and the Virginia opossums living near urban areas tend to be heavier than their rural counterparts. The young are largely undeveloped at birth except for their mouth and front legs. Virginia opossum - Photos. In 1612, the English explorer, John Smith, described it as having the head of a pig, a tail of a rat, and being the size of a cat with baggage under her belly where she carries and suckles her young.

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