Virginia Opossum

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Due to its recent northern and western expansion and its wide range in Central and North America, the Virginia opossum has been noted as one of the most successful mammal species in history.

Due to the recent expansion of the species’ northern and western range, the Virginia opossum has been noted as one of the most successful mammal species in history. They have a wide range throughout Central and North America, which continues to expand, and can currently can be found from Costa Rica to southern Ontario, Canada.

The movement of this Neotropical species northward has been the subject of research. In the 1970’s, a scientific model hypothesized that this species would not venture beyond Vermont and New Hampshire.

Prior to European settlement, the opossum’s range was limited in the north to Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. Today, they are mostly found in the south and northeastern regions of the United States and are widely distributed throughout all of Mississippi.

Sources: (Harmon, et al., 2005; Hossler, McAninch, & Harder, 1994; Kanda, Fuller, & Friedland, 2005; Pérez-Hernandez, Lew, & Solari, 2016; Siciliano, 2013; Weber & O’Connor, 2000; Wilemon, 2008)
Image: Steven Kersting

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