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Opossum

Latin: Didelphidae marsupialis

Family: Talipdae

Appearance: Opossums are covered in white or grayish hair. They have a long, pointed face with round, hairless ears and a rat-like tail. They are 2.5 feet from nose to tail and weigh 8.8 to 13.2 pounds.

Habitat: Opossums prefer deciduous woodlands with nearby sources of water like streams or swamps. They are extremely adaptable and succeed in a variety of habitats and climates. The most important elements in a possum's home range are food, water and shelter. Opossums don't build their own dens and they often take shelter in abandoned animal burrows, hollow logs, brush piles, woodpiles, attics and other man-made structures.

Diet: Omnivore. They feed on dead animals and plant matter and they also love insects and occasionally hunt small animals like chicks and snakes.

Behaviour: Nocturnal (active mainly after dark). Although they do not hibernate, they are often less active during the winter. Opossums tend to be solitary animals and live alone when they are not breeding. Opossums are skilled climbers. Opossums breed between the months of January and October and give birth to up to two litters of 4-8 young.

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