Baby OPOSSUM (Didelphimorphia) - ©shangralafamilyfun
- Opossums are the largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere.
- Commonly called possums, though that term is also applied to Australian fauna .
- The Virginia Opossum was the first animal to be named an opossum; usage of the name was published in 1610.
- From the Algonquian aposoum, meaning “white beast”.
- Successful colonizers and survivors in diverse locations and conditions.
- When “playing possum,” the lips are drawn back, teeth are bared, saliva foams around the mouth, and a foul-smelling fluid is secreted from the anal glands.
- The physiological response is involuntary, rather than a conscious act. The animal will regain consciousness after a period of minutes or hours and escape.
- Adult opossums do not hang from trees by their tails.Their semi-prehensile tails are not strong enough to support a mature adult’s weight.
- A mother will sometimes carry her young upon her back, where they will cling tightly even when she is climbing or running.
- Baby opossums will make a sneezing noise to signal their mother.
- If threatened, the baby will quietly hiss until the threat is gone.
- Hissing or squawking is a defensive process that helps the opossum keep unwanted guests from bothering them.
Fact Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opossum
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