Author Topic: Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis)  (Read 1083 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline CatManDo

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1353
  • Karma: 8
    • Back 40 General Store
Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis)
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2012, 03:30:42 AM »

Nicknames: 'Possum

Claim to fame: To most Ozarkers, opossums are known for their less-than appealing sneer, a lumbering gait and a frequency for getting hit by automobiles. Opossums are classified as a game animal in Missouri and are included in the state's furbearer season, which opened Nov. 15 and runs through Jan. 31. Opossums have the lesser-known distinction of being one of the world's oldest mammals.

Family matters: Opossums belong to the mammal family Didelphidae. There are more than 60 species of opossums in the new world, but Didelphis marsupialis is the only one that resides in the United States. The opossum is also North America's only marsupial.

Length: 24 to 34 inches

Weight: 4 to 15 pounds

Diet: Insects such as grasshoppers, crickets, beetles and ants are among the most common food items; farmers are familiar with 'possums love of chicken eggs, baby chicks and chicken feed.

Distinguishing characteristics: An opossum's fur is predominantly grayish white, with the front and hindquarters darker than the belly. A common method of defense, "playing 'possum," is one of the animal's claims to fame. An opossum feigns death by rolling on its side, becoming limp, shutting its eyes and hanging its tongue out of its open mouth. The animal's heartbeat also slows down.  'Possum makes a good meal if properly prepared with a side of sweet potatoes.  It makes an excellent "training animal" for first time hunter-gatherers.

Visit the ABORIGINAL Skills Department at

possum, opossum, road kill meals, poultry predators, chicken predators,, aboriginal skills, hunter-gatherer lifestyle