Virginia Opossum

https://faunafocus.com/september-2018/#jp-carousel-10753

Because female Virginia opossums lick at the offspring in their pouches, it was once mistaken that they breed with their noses and afterward, the young crawl from the nostrils into the pouch.

After breeding, the female Virginia opossum’s pouch takes on a brownish-orange hue and emits a musky odor due to scent glands located within. This likely assists newborn opossums in finding their mother’s pouch.

While young are residing within, females are often observed licking at the pouch and their offspring. This practice led to the mistaken idea that Virginia opossums breed with their noses and afterward, the young crawl from the female’s nostrils into her pouch.

Sources: (Holmes, 1992, May; Kimble, 1997; McManus, 1974; McRuer & Jones, 2009; Porter, 1956; Siciliano, 2013)
Image: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren

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