Virginia opossums invest little in parental care; males provide no parental care, while females offer moderate care being protective of their pouches, but not of their young, specifically.
Virginia opossums invest little in parental care. Males provide no parental care, while females offer moderate care.
Virginia opossums use olfactory and auditory signals to communicate with their young. In addition, females maintain auditory contact with their young through a series of clicks, lip smacking, and bird-like sounds.
Although a female with pouch-young may become very protective of her pouch, once her young are removed, she shows little interest. Female Virginia opossums typically continue lactating for about 15 weeks, over which time, the composition of the milk becomes modified.
Sources: (Christiansen, 2006; Holmes, 1992, May, 1992 December; Kimble, 1997; Kolb and Wang, 1985; McManus, 1974; McRuer & Jones, 2009; O’Connell, 2006; Porter, 1956; Siciliano, 2013)
Image: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren