Opossums (Family Didelphidae)

 

Didelphimorphia is the order of common opossums of the Western
Hemisphere. This order contains only Family Didelphidae with
sixty-three species. They are commonly also called possums, though
that term is also applied to Australian fauna of Suborder
Phalangeriformes. The Virginia opossum is the original animal
named opossum. The word comes from Algonquian wapathemwa
meaning "white dog".

 

Their unspecialized biology, flexible diet and reproductive strategy
make them successful colonizers and survivors in diverse locations
and conditions. Originally native to the eastern United States, the
Virginia opossum was intentionally introduced into the West during
the Great Depression, probably as a source of food. Its range has been
expanding steadily northwards, thanks in part to more plentiful, man-
made sources of freshwater, increased shelter due to urban encroach-

ment, and milder winters. Its range has extended into Ontario, Canada,

and it has been found farther north than Toronto.

 

 

Back to Inventory of Mammal Families and Species

Home Page

Park Activities

   Calendar of Events
  
Volunteer Programs

   Park Regulations

Sky Meadows Park
  
Location
   Geography
   Habitats
   Trails
   Visiting Park

   Virtual Tours

Crooked Run Valley

   Historic District

   Architecture Sites

   Mt. Bleak

   Historical Events

   Park History

   Agriculture

Special Projects

   Blue Bird

   Biodiversity Survey

   BioBlitz 

 

Home Page

Nature Guide

   Purpose

   Databases

   Copyright

Plants

   Trees

   Shrubs

   Vines

   Forbs/Herbs

   Ferns

   Grasses

Animals

   Mammals

   Birds

   Reptiles

   Amphibians

   Fish

   Butterflies

   Bees

Fungi

   Mushrooms

   Lichens