Opossum stuffed animals, facts and information are in the forest at Jeannie's Cottage. Our opossums include, Possy of the Coca-Cola International Bean Bag Collection and she represents the USA, a North American Opossum Cuddlekins from Wild Republic, Oliver the Opossum from Douglas Cuddle Toys and an Opossum from Cabin Critters.
The opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) is the only North American marsupial. Pouched mammals, such as the kangaroo and the opossum are called marsupials. The young are born premature and need to finish their development in the mother's pouch. An opossum is about the size of a large cat. The fur on the body is gray and the face white. It has a pointed snout and a pink nose and a long, naked tail. Opossums breed about once a year. The female bears up to 20 tiny kits (about the size of a bee) who crawl into her pouch, but when they get there they find only 12 or 13 teats. The first comers clamp onto a teat and won't let go for the two months they remain in the pouch.
This means that only the first 13 kits are fed. All the others die of starvation. (Poor little things.)
After emerging from the pouch, the remaining infants ride about on their mother's back for another few weeks. As they develop, the young switch from mother's milk to a diverse diet of roots, fruits, insects, and small mammals. Opossums are active mainly at night. One of the interesting aspects of this animal is its behavior when confronted with a dangerous situation. They play dead, becoming completely lifeless, mouth open, sometimes drooling.
The opossum has a remarkable tail. The tip is prehensile and it uses it as a fifth hand. Opossum is an American Indian name which means "white animal." The opossums belong in the family Didelphidae (double womb.) They have a life span of about seven years.