The body is shaped like a large cat and has a long pointed tail with a scaly appearance. They also have a long gripping tail which they use as an additional limb during climbing. Early in life, young opossums have a very high mortality rate. They prefer the wet kind but will crunch kibble when this is all eaten. The fur is pale grey with white cheeks. The babies climb up the mother's fur and into her pouch where they find a teat. Life span Virginia opossum in northeastern Ohio. If a possum encounters a predator, it falls over and enters a near-catatonic state, even emitting a strong odor. MORE IN OPOSSUM CATEGORY. What is the opossum life span. The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), commonly known as the North American opossum, is the only marsupial found north of Mexico. Wild opossums have a relatively short lifespan of approximately 1.5-2 years. Its muzzle is long and pointed, and in its mouth are 50 teeth; more than any other land animal in North America. One animal has been known to live 6.6 years in captivity . Note how the hind tracks overlap the front tracks. Common Name: Virginia Opossum Scientific Name: Didelphis virginiana A group of them is called: A passel We just call them: "Clair", "Milo" and "Stella" Size: 34 – 95 cm (length) Weight: .3 – 6.4 kg Lifespan: ~ 2 years (wild), 4 years (captivity) Diet: Omnivore. Well, today, we’re going to be taking particular aim at that particular battle between the raccoon brethren and the possums. The adult have a strong tail and used for grip The males will deeply growl and they can raised the growl volume as the danger won’t back off. They can live no more than 2 to 4 years largely because they haven’t developed a special defense against potential predators. Introduction. In the United States the Virginia Opossum is referred to as possum. They are found in The Neotropics and The Nearctic. The Virginia Opossum has a long head and pointed snout, with long whiskers. A Virginia opossum female may have as many as 25 babies, but she usually has 7-8. In order to complete its life cycle, this parasite needs two hosts, a definitive and an intermediate. Many of these altricial young never arrive in their mothers pouch, afterward; about 60% of those who do reach the pouch will perish once they are weaned. Discover How Long Virginia opossum Lives. While they can be an interesting addition to an ambassador collection, keep in mind that they have a short life span (2-4 years in human care), and some individuals may have a propensity to bite. In the laboratory, raccoons, cats, armadillos, skunks, and sea otters have been shown to be intermediate hosts. The opossum has been proven not to be the definitive host of the disease. Tail length: 22cm - 47cm. If the animal is moving slowly a tail drag mark may be noticeable, but an opossum typical holds its tail off the ground when walking. What Eats Possums? Adult size varies based on population location. Opossum vs Possum – Pictures. Opossum lifespan. Admitted as a fully-grown adult in the spring of 2016, we know that she was at least three years in age at the time of her death, nearly twice the average lifespan for her species in the wild. Virginia opossum tracks in snow. Like most marsupials, opossums are very small when they are born - about the size of a navy bean. Compared to other mammals, including most other marsupials except dasyuromorphians, opossums have unusually short lifespans for their size and metabolic rate. Females carry their young in a fur-lined pouch. Size Total length: 35cm - 94cm (average 74cm). The Opossums are said to be Omnivorous, like us, racoons and bears. The Virginia opossum has a maximal lifespan in the wild of only about two years. The reason opossums have so many babies to insure that some of them survive. They have a short life span, only a couple of years in the wild, maybe 4 in captivity. Click to expand. Life Cycle. 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