Virginia opossum


Virginia opossum[1]
Opossum 2.jpg
North American opossum in winter
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Didelphimorphia
Family: Didelphidae
Genus: Didelphis
Species:
D. virginiana
Binomial name
Didelphis virginiana
(Kerr, 1792)
Virginia Opossum range.png
Range of habitat, showing both historic, native range and introductions in the west; these areas are currently expanding northward (e.g., into Wisconsin and Minnesota).[3]
Synonyms

Didelphis marsupialis virginiana[4]

The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), also known as the North American opossum, is the only opossum living north of Mexico, its range extending south into Central America. It is the northernmost marsupial in the world. In the United States and Canada, it is typically called a possum, 'possum or opossum. It is a solitary nocturnal animal about the size of a domestic cat, and a successful opportunist.

Opossums are familiar to many North Americans as they frequently inhabit settled areas near food sources like trash cans, pet food, compost piles, gardens or housemice. Their slow and nocturnal nature, and their attraction to roadside carrion, makes many roadkill.

  1. ^ Gardner, A.L. (2005). "Order Didelphimorphia". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ Pérez-Hernandez, R.; Lew, D.; Solari, S. (2016). "Didelphis virginiana". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T40502A22176259. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T40502A22176259.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  3. ^ Gardner, A.L.; Sunquist, M.E. (2003). "Opossum: Didelphis virginiana". In Feldhamer, G.A.; Thompson, B.C.; Chapman, J.A. (eds.). Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Conservation. JHU Press. pp. 3–29. ISBN 978-0-8018-7416-1.
  4. ^ John J. McManus (July 1970), "Behavior of Captive Opossums, Didelphis marsupialis virginiana", American Midland Naturalist, 84 (1): 144–169, doi:10.2307/2423733, JSTOR 2423733

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