Early in life, young opossums have a very high mortality rate with about 68% not surviving the trip to the mother’s pouch and 60% perishing once weaned and independent.
Early in life, young opossums have a very high mortality rate.
Many of these altricial young never arrive in their mothers pouch, with an average of 8 young surviving the expedition to the pouch out of a total litter of 4 to 25 individuals.
Afterward, about 60% of those who do reach the pouch will perish once they are weaned and become fully independent.
Sources: (Burnie, Wilson, & Clutton-Brock, 2001; Christiansen, 2006; Feldhamer, Drickamer, Vessey, Merritt, & Krajewski, 2007; Gipson & Kamler, 2001; Harmon, et al., 2005; Hoffmeister, 2002; Hossler, McAninch, & Harder, 1994; McManus, 1974; McRuer & Jones, 2009; O’Connell, 2006; Rademaker & Cerqueira, 2006; Siciliano, 2013; Woods II & Hellgren, 2003)
Image: Kara Jones