How Many Species Of Opossums? The part one
The opossum is a small animal that primarily seeks heat and moisture to build its nest. So it is rare to see it here. In recent years, it has been migrating more and more north. So don't be surprised if he gets caught rummaging through your trash cans.
The appearance of the opossum
The opossum is a white, rat-like mammal the size of a cat. In its adult size, this animal reaches 60 to 80 cm in length with a maximum weight of six kilograms. On the other hand, the female is slightly smaller.
Opossum or Possum?
Classified historically by French-speaking people as sarongs, the carnivorous marsupials of the family Didelphidae in America are usually called opossums, sometimes renamed locally by local names such as "bian" or "manico".
His coat is white. Some have black tips, which gives them a silver-gray sheen. Like a cat's whiskers, it has four rows of whiskers, each about eight centimeters long. It is alert to the wagging of its whiskers especially at night when it is searching for food, and it is covered in fur that has two layers of hairs. A white outer coat, made of coarse hair, allows the beast to stay dry. The inner layer is fleece and keeps the animal warm.
The opossum has a long tail. This tail is used as an extra hand. It climbs a tree, wrapping its tail around a branch, allowing it to secure itself and free its other legs.
The young also have a habit of hanging upside down from the tail of a branch. Nobody knows why he has this habit. As an adult, it becomes very heavy and risks falling on its head.
Its hind legs are equipped with thumbs and resemble a hand. Its forelimbs look like feet. This characteristic makes him an excellent climber, but a poor runner.
A clumsy treadmill with a top speed of 13 km/h. It is short-legged, which allows it to quickly creep into bushes and other hiding places.
Its fingers, except for the thumb, are equipped with long, tapering claws. When the opossum climbs, it plunges its claws into the bark of the tree and thus strengthens its position.
Diet of the opossum
Omnivorous, the opossum is above all carnivorous:
In the city, you feed on vegetables from your garden and rummage through your garbage cans.
He especially loves young fruits: persimmons and berries. They also feed on:
If it finds an adequate food source on its territory, the opossum never travels more than five hectares from its nest. On the other hand, if this is not the case, he travels a distance four times greater than his territory to obtain supplies.
Habitat of the opossum
The opossum is lazy. Instead of building its own burrow, it settles in an abandoned underground nest, for example by a skunk or groundhog. It particularly prefers woods and swamps.
He then lines this gallery with leaves and twigs, to make his new home cozier. Then he spends most of his day sleeping.
In urban areas, it takes shelter under the porch of the house, in the garage, or even in the sewers. If you spot this animal under your porch, don't worry. Contact us quickly and we will help him return to a habitat that is more suitable for his needs.
Hygiene of the opossum
Like a cat, the opossum has a rough tongue. This tongue is used to clean itself, like cats. The animal is clean and is not known to carry diseases either.
Protection: smart little
Because of its legs, the opossum moves slowly and awkwardly. Clumsically, it develops a strategy to outwit its predators, such as owls and foxes.
With the approach of the enemy, this animal simulates its death: it throws itself on its side, its mouth is open and its eyes are closed. His breathing and heart rate slowed. Thus, it remains completely motionless, even when the predator tries to shake it.
Then the latter thinks that the animal is dead. Not being a scavenger, he loses interest and leaves. This trick, however, is not infallible. Confused, the opossum sometimes forgets his own plan, starts moving again and gets caught.
Plan B: He will try to scare off his attacker by showing his sharp teeth and growling loudly.
Generally, an opossum has a lifespan of seven years.
Reproduction of the opossum
Solitary, the opossum searches for a mate only for the mating season. This period depends on where the animal lives, whether it is in the southern or northern hemisphere.
In the south, it mates from January to August, while in the north, from February to August.
Thirteen days after mating, the female is ready to give birth. She can give birth to up to 20 young per litter. She takes care of her babies alone, as the male has already left the nest.
At birth, each young is 14 mm long, about the size of a bee. They are pink and have no hair. Their eyes and ears are closed. The hind legs and tail are still just a stump. On the other hand, the front legs are developed and already equipped with claws.
From the first minutes after birth, the mother licks her pups generously to clean them. Then she licks her belly to make it wet and slippery. Her young will slide into their mother's belly sac.
This pocket is fleece and warm. The female opens and closes it by tensing her muscles. Unfortunately, it only contains 13 lollipops. If you give birth to more than 13 children, those who do not find a pacifier will die.
Young opossums begin to nurse from their mother as soon as they arrive in their pouch. They won't leave it for 60 days. During this time, their body and fur develop. Only when they open their eyes do they start to come out.
Once outside, the child becomes vulnerable. His gait is shaky. It clings to its mother's back for short walks, during which the female shows her young how to find food and climb trees.
A young opossum remains very close to its mother until the 100th day after its birth. At this point, he is ready to build his own nest, but does not move away from his mother or siblings. At eight months, he is ready to mate.
The Virginia opossum
The Virginia opossum, also known as the North American opossum, is a unique and interesting mammal species. It is found throughout much of the eastern United States and parts of Canada. This animal has adapted to many different environments from woodlands to urban areas. As one of nature’s most resilient creatures, it can survive in almost any environment with its incredible ability to adapt quickly.
Virginia opossums are usually about two feet long with an additional tail length ranging from 8-19 inches long depending on their age and size. They have grayish fur that helps them blend into their surroundings for protection against predators such as hawks or coyotes that may try to prey upon them while they search for food at night time hours when they are most active due to being nocturnal animals..
The Virginia Opossum has 50 teeth which makes it more than any other land mammal in North America! These sharp teeth help this creature chew through hard shells like nuts or fruits making up part of its diet along with small insects, frogs , snakes , worms etc...
One thing that sets the Virginia Opossum apart from other animals is its amazing immune system . It’s able resist some diseases better than humans because it produces antibodies faster than us ! This means if a virus were introduced into an area where these mammals lived chances would be slim for those viruses surviving due too fast rate at which immunity builds within these creatures bodies .
Additionally , this species plays dead when threatened by potential predators giving off foul odors during this “playing possom ” act further helping keep itself safe ! All in all ,the Virginai Oposuum is truly fascinating creature worthy our admiration and respect!
The common opossum
The common opossum is a fascinating creature that can be found throughout North and South America. The most recognizable feature of the opossum is its long, pointed snout and white face with black eyes. It has gray-brown fur covering its body, which helps it blend in with the environment. Its tail is also quite distinctive; it’s scaly and hairless except for some tufts at the end of it, giving them an almost ratlike appearance when they are on their hind legs.
Opossums are omnivores who feed on a variety of foods including insects, fruit and small animals such as mice or birds eggs if given access to them in urban areas like garbage cans or gardens. They have sharp claws that help them climb trees easily so they can search for food among branches or find shelter from predators during daylight hours when they sleep inside hollow logs or tree cavities away from danger . Opossums also use their prehensile tails to grab onto things while climbing around looking for food sources which makes life easier by allowing them to reach places other animals cannot get too!
In addition to being excellent climbers ,oposums have many other interesting adaptations that make then successful survivors . They possess opposable thumbs on their front feet making grasping objects easy ,they will eat just about anything including carrion (dead animal flesh)and even play dead if threatened by potential predators !
This behavior coupled with strong immune systems allows these creatures live longer than most wild mammals despite all odds against survival due largely in part because no one really likes having an opossom around! All this considered ,the common opposom truly deserves respect as a unique species capable of surviving harsh conditions without much human intervention !
The Common Brushtail Possum
The Common Brushtail Possum is a species of marsupial native to Australia, New Guinea, and some nearby islands. It is one of the most widespread and successful marsupials in the world due to its adaptability to many different habitats.
The possum has thick gray fur with lighter patches on its chest and face, as well as a long prehensile tail that it uses for balance while climbing trees. Its diet consists mostly of leaves, flowers, fruits and insects found in urban areas or forests alike; this makes them particularly adept at living near humans since they can find food easily.
Common Brushtail Possums are also quite intelligent animals capable of learning complex behaviors like opening doors or finding hidden food sources through trial-and-error methods - something not all other mammals can do!
They have an interesting social structure where each group contains several adult males who compete for mates by displaying their size dominance over other members within the same group (a process known as "lekking"). This behavior helps ensure genetic diversity among offspring which increases survival rates within populations over time.
In addition to being smart creatures with fascinating social dynamics, Common Brushtails are also important ecologically speaking: They play an essential role in dispersing seeds from plants throughout their habitat which helps maintain biodiversity levels across landscapes; this means that if these animals were removed from any given area then certain plant species would be lost too!
Furthermore they serve as prey items for larger predators such as owls so without them there could be drastic changes occurring up higher trophic levels too - making conservation efforts involving brushtails even more important than ever before!
The White-eared opossum
The White-eared opossum is a species of marsupial native to Central and South America. It is one of the most common species in its range, and it has been found from Mexico down through Brazil.
The White-eared opossum is an important part of the local ecosystem as it helps to control insect populations, disperses seeds for new plant growth, and provides food for larger predators. It also plays an important role in providing materials such as fur or leather that are used by people living nearby for clothing or decoration purposes.
The White-eared opossum typically lives alone but can be seen in small groups when searching for food during certain times of year like springtime when there are more insects available than usual due to increased activity levels among other animals around them at this time too.
They feed mainly on fruits, nuts and insects but will also eat small vertebrates if they come across them while out hunting! Their diet consists mostly of things like grasshoppers which they catch with their long snouts before quickly eating them up whole - yuck.
White-eared Opossums have become increasingly threatened due to habitat destruction caused by human activities such as logging operations that remove large amounts trees from forests where these animals live naturally.
Additionally overhunting has led some populations into decline because their soft pelts make attractive items sold commercially throughout much Latin America regionally sourced products made using animal skin being particularly popular amongst tourists visiting countries like Peru or Ecuador who may not realize how unsustainable this kind practices actually are .
To help protect these creatures conservation efforts need continue so future generations can enjoy seeing white eared possums wild without worrying about extinction threats looming overhead.
The Gray short-tailed opossum
The Gray short-tailed opossum is a small marsupial native to Central and South America. It is an omnivore, meaning it eats both plant and animal matter. The opossum has gray fur with white patches on its face, neck, chest and legs. Its tail is shorter than other species of opossums but still long enough for grasping branches when climbing trees or shrubs.
The Gray short-tailed opossum lives in rainforests near rivers or streams where there are plenty of food sources available such as fruits, nuts, insects and even small vertebrates like frogs or lizards from time to time .
They can also be found living in urban areas such as parks that have lots of vegetation for them to feed on. They are nocturnal animals which means they spend the day sleeping in dens located high up in trees before coming out at night looking for food sources while avoiding predators like cats , dogs , snakes etc...
Gray short-tailed Opossom's play an important role within their ecosystem by helping disperse seeds through their droppings thus aiding the regeneration process amongst plants & flowers .
In addition they help control insect populations so they don't get too large which could cause problems if left unchecked . All these factors make this species essential part of any healthy forest environment despite being relatively unknown compared to more popular mammals like monkeys & sloths who occupy similar habitats.
Big-eared opossums are small, nocturnal marsupials native to Central and South America. These animals have a unique appearance that sets them apart from other species of possum; most notably, they have distinctive long ears which give them their name. In addition to these distinguishing features, big-eared opossums also possess several interesting traits that make them an intriguing species of mammal.
The first thing you may notice about a big-eared opossum is its size: it’s much smaller than many other types of possum, usually measuring between 10 and 15 inches in length with a tail almost as long as its body! Its fur is typically grayish brown or black in color with white patches around the eyes and nose area for camouflage purposes when out hunting at night.
Big-earred opossums also have large eyes which help improve their vision during nighttime hours when they're active searching for food such as insects or fruit on the forest floor or up in trees where they can climb using their sharp claws adapted specifically for this purpose.
In addition to being great climbers due to those specialized claws mentioned earlier, big eared opposums are excellent swimmers too - equipped with webbed feet just like ducks - so if need be can easily move through water environments such as rivers and streams without any difficulty whatsoever!
They're even known for having good hearing capabilities thanks largely due again those huge ears helping them detect potential predators before danger strikes by picking up on sounds made from far away distances making it possible escape quickly if needed be! All these attributes combined make the Big Eared Opossom one truly remarkable creature indeed worth learning more about why not take some time today?
The Patagonian opossum
The Patagonian opossum is a small marsupial native to the southern regions of South America, particularly Argentina and Chile. This species of opossum is uniquely adapted for its environment, with thick fur to help protect it from cold temperatures and a long tail that can be used as an extra limb when climbing trees or other structures. The Patagonian opossum has also been observed eating insects, fruits, and plant material in addition to scavenging carrion.
Patagonian opossums are solitary animals who typically live alone in burrows they dig out themselves or take over from other animals such as armadillos or foxes. They often use these burrows during the day while they sleep at night on branches high up in trees where predators cannot reach them easily.
These creatures tend to be most active at night when there are fewer predators around but will also venture out during the day if food sources become scarce enough for them too seek sustenance elsewhere than their usual territory boundaries allow for .
The population of Patagonian Opossom has been decreasing due largely due human disturbances such as deforestation which destroys their natural habitats, hunting by humans who view them pests since they sometimes raid crops looking for food ,and competition with invasive species like cats that have taken over some areas where these little critters once lived undisturbed .
Conservation efforts have been put into place including education campaigns about how this animal plays an important role within its ecosystem , creating protected areas specifically designed preserve habitat needed by this creature along with many others ,and working towards restoring damaged ecosystems so that all living beings can thrive together once again .