Mammals of Pennsylvania Online Resource

Common Name: Opossum




Scientific Name:
Didelphis virginiana 

Adaptable; able to live wherever water, food, and shelter exist. At home in trees; uses its prehensile tail to help stabilize position when climbing— it does not, however, hang by its tail.

Omnivorous: eats insects, snails, rodents, berries, over-ripe fruit, grasses, leaves, and carrion; occasionally will eat snakes, ground eggs, corn or other vegetables.

Interesting Facts:
North America's only marsupial (female has a pouch) mammal. One of the shortest lived mammals for its size, typically 2 to 4 years. Killed by many predators: humans (and cars), dogs, cats, owls, and larger wildlife.

Further Reading:
Click here for references 

Click to return to Mammals of Pennsylvania home