The Virginia opossum’s range is expanding north, due in part to their ability to adapt to various urban and agricultural landscapes, as well as the rise in global temperatures ( see Climate Change). Opossums inhabit a wide variety of habitats. The common opossum is a host of the acanthocephalan intestinal parasite Gigantorhynchus lutzi. As is the case for the common opossum, home range estimates for the Virginia opossum are much larger when data are acquired via radio tracking, Of the 100+ opossum species in the world, the most common and recognizable in the United States is the Virginia opossum. Robert J. Ellison—The National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researchers Opossums have sharp claws that help them dig into the bark of trees while climbing. They tend to be most abundant in the southern part of the state, especially along the Wabash, Mississippi and Ohio rivers. A marsupial is a mammal that has a pouch where it carries its young. A short childhood. It is a common mistake. not a rodent. Unlike many land-based animals with their circular home ranges, an opossum often travels an elongated range along the edges of rivers and streams, usually just over a … Opossums inhabit a wide range, from sea level to elevations over 10,000 feet. The animal lives in a wide range of habitats, … If you thought their gestation period was short, well so is their childhood! Marsupials are mammals that use a pouch to carry their young. Diet. Virginia Opossum. While there are over 65 species of opossums, only one, the Didelphis virginiana, more commonly known as the Virginia opossum, is native to North America. In … Gestation period is 12 – 14 days. Depending upon availability and opportunity an opossum will eat insects and other invertebrates, fruits, small mammals, birds, bird eggs, carcasses, garbage, and even other opossums. They naturally prefer deciduous wooded areas near water sources, but can also be found in farmlands or marshes. It can use its tail to hang from tree branches, and it has paws with opposable "thumbs." The possum is actually a tree-climbing marsupial that lives in Australia, and a distant cousin to the North American, opossum. Opossum Facts. her young. Common Name: Opossums Type: Mammal Family: Didelphimorphia Range: The Opossums is an animal that is found mainly in forests throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Costa Rica. The common opossum is native to tropical North and South America, its geographic range extending from central Mexico to Bolivia and Brazil. On average, the Virginia opossum ranges from 13 to 37 inches in length from nose to the base of the tail, with a tail adding another 8 to 19 inches of length. The opossum's naked ears, nose, and tail are very susceptible to freezing temperatures, which explains why the species is not found farther north. The most notable is the Virginia opossum or common opossum—the … Habitat. The Virginia opossum can be found in most of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains and on the West Coast. The Virginia opossum, also called the North American or common opossum, is the only Didelphis species found north of Mexico. Opossums are wanderers, being nomadic and not staying in one specific territory. Outside of mating, they are usually solitary. Other Common Names. Back to top. They are considered pests due to their somewhat raccoon-like behavior. Prior to European settlement of North America, the opossum was found only in Central America and the southeastern United States. Flexible in habit, this opossum ranges from southern Canada, and south into Nicaragua and Honduras. Populations can exceed 200 opossums per square mile in favorable habitats. This is actually the only marsupial, meaning pouched animal that is found in Canada and the United States. During the 1900s, its range expanded northward and westward. The possums were given that name because of the close semblance to the opossums of North America. Didelphismeans double womb and refers to the pouch as a secondary place of development for the infant opossums. Virginia opossums are the only marsupial found in the United States. Besides eating horrible food like dead animals, opossums eat over-ripe fruit, vegetables, … Size: Length from nose to tail, 2.5 ft (76 cm) Weight: It is weighing 8.8 to 13.2 lb (4 to 6 kg) Diet: They are omnivorous. Some of their more identifiable characteristics are their pointed head and pink nose, a long, hairless tail, and hairless, pointy ears. Opossums are: not possums. Common opossum (Didelphis marsupialis). Virginia opossums, also known as “possums,” first arrived in Washington in the early 1900s as pets and novelties. 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