Bookmarkable URL:http://hdl.handle.net/10217/53960

Scientific Classification

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Marsupialia
Family:Didelphidae
Genus:Didelphis
Genus species:Didelphis virginiana

Animal Characteristics

Head-Body Length:32.5-50 cm
Weight:2-5.5 kg
Identification:The American Virginia opossum's color can vary from light gray to brown.
Habitat:Forests, scrublands, grasslands
Diet:Omnivore: fruit, carrion, insects, small vertebrates, garbage
Reproduction:Northern populations breed only once a year during the spring. Opossums in the south may breed two or three times a year. Each litter has 8-18 young, although usually only seven survive long enough to leave the pouch. The gestation period is 12-14 days long.
Females tend to live in groups, but the males fight when confined together.
Behavior:If threatened, an opossum may play dead, possible causing the predator to lose interest. This highly adaptable species is mostly terrestrial, but can climb trees if necessary.
Status:No special status
Interesting Facts:The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial found north of Mexico and is the largest member of the opossum family.

Other Information

Geographic:North America Date:1958-1988 Subjects:possum
American Virginia opossum
marsupial
Virginia opossum
Virginia opossum -- Infancy
Didelphis
Opossums
Didelphimorphia
Marsupials
Mammals
Vertebrates
Chordata