Virginia Opossum

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The Virginia opossum’s perception channels are specialized for its nocturnal behavior, being most active from dusk until dawn and not hibernating during the colder seasons.

The Virginia opossums is almost exclusively nocturnal and begins its nightly activities around dusk. It remains active until dawn, but this may vary slightly throughout the year.

The Virginia opossum’s perception channels are specialized for its nocturnal behavior. The opossum likely has acute hearing. While they likely have keen eyesight, their ability to recognize color is limited. Their vision is likely similar to cats, however, they have a rod to cone ratio of 50:1, as opposed to a cat’s ratio of 10:1. They also have sensitive vibrissae, which assist in their movement in the dark. Their ability to recognize specific tastes is likely also limited.

These animals do not hibernate; however, they reduce their activity during the bitter cold seasons. During their active period, males travel greater distances, whereas females shows greater variation in their movement.

Sources: (Allen, Marchinton, & MacLentz, 1985; Christiansen, 2006; Hoffmeister, 2002; Holmes, 1992, December; Hossler, McAninch, & Harder, 1994; Kimble, 1997; Kolb and Wang, 1985; Ladine & Kissell, Jr., 1994; McManus, 1974; McRuer & Jones, 2009; O’Connell, 2006; Pérez-Hernandez, R., Lew, D., & Solari, 2016; Siciliano, 2013; Wilemon, 2008)
Image: Mira d’Oubliette

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