Virginia Opossum

Didelphis virginiana

Origin: North and Central America

Lifespan: two to three years

Size: Thier size varies based on location. the more tropical the climate the  smaller they are in size

adults are 13-37 inches long, with a tail that is 8-19 in long

Males weigh 1.7 to 14 lbs, females weigh 11 oz to 8.2 lbs

Diet: Omnivorous

they eat fruits, vegetation, grains, insects, snails, carrion, snakes, birds, and mice, etc.

Activity: Nocturnal

Reproduction: Breeding season starts as early as December and continues through October

  • Most young are born between February and June

  • A female may have one to three litters per year.

  • Average litter size is six to eight

  • Gestation is average twelve days, babies are born as small as dimes

  • The young find their way to the female's pouch there are twelve nipples in a circle with one in the center

  • They stay in the pouch for about 2 1/2 months before climbing out on the females back

  • Young go off on their own around four or five months of age

Extra Facts: Opossums are the only marsupial found north of Mexico

  • Opossums have hairless prehensile tails

  • Their mouth contains 50 teeth, more than any North American land animal

  • High tolerance for snake venom

  • Playing dead is triggered by extreme fear, it can last up to six hours and lower their heart rate by half and breathing slows by about 30%

  • They are very resistant to rabies

 

 

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