Opossum

Didelphis virginiana

Trail Tidbits

 This nocturnal animal is the only marsupial in North America.

 When born, each opossum is about the size of a rice-krispy. A whole litter (average around 8-10) could fit in a spoon!

 After they are born, they crawl up the mother's belly and climb down inside her pouch where they nurse for about 2 months. Then they ride on her back.

 They have hairless, prehensile tails that can grab tree branches when they climb. Adult opossum are too heavy to hang by their tail, but babies sometimes do.

 They have more teeth than any other mammal- 50 in all.

 Opossum like to eat road-killed animals and sometimes get hit by vehicles too. They also eat berries, persimmon, apple, corn, eggs, insects and frogs.

 When frightened, opossum will hiss loudly and open its mouth widely to show all of its sharp teeth. If that doesn't work, they will lay still with their tongue hanging out and emit a death-like odor. This usually discourages predators from bothering the opossum.


    Hike back to the Animal Trail