September 2018: Virginia Opossum

Scientific Name   Didelphis virginiana
Alternate Name   Common Opossum, Jack (Male), Jill (Female), Joey (Young), North American Opossum, Possum
Collective Name   Grin, Litter (Young), Passel
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Didelphimorphia Didelphidae Didelphis
  Least Concern   Nocturnal   Solitary   Omnivore
  North America   Forests, Shrublands, Artificial Terrestrial
  33-55 cm.   12-22 in.
  1.9-6 kg.   4.1-6.2 lb.   1.5-7 yr.
Fore Hind

The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the only marsupial species found north of Mexico and is a common species of the United States, sometimes referred to as the “North American Opossum.” This species has been recognized as one of the most successful mammals in history as it has an expansive range from as south as Costa Rica to as north as Ontario, Canada and is constantly expanding its distribution. As an opportunistic feeder, this omnivore consumes plants, animals, carrion, and even garbage. The opossum is listed as “Least Concern” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

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