Didelphis virginiana • Mammals
This marsupial, or pouched mammal, resembles a large rat. It has a long pointed nose, large ears and is covered with long, coarse hair that is gray mixed with white in color. Each foot is like a hand with 5 toes, the great toes much like human thumbs, being opposable for grasping. Like a kangaroo, the female has a pouch. The female gives birth to many helpless young opossums that are as tiny as a honeybee.
The opossum is often incorrectly referred to as a “possum”, and although there is no
link between the possums of Australia and the opossums of America, the opossum is the only species of marsupial that is found outside of Australia and its surrounding islands.
Opossums like to eat fruit, berries, grains, green vegetation, earthworms, insects, eggs, frogs, and small mammals and they prefer to live in moist woodlands, brushy habitats, wetlands, agricultural areas and residential areas that provide abundant food and cover.