Pollinating opossums confirm decades-long theory

In Brazil there is a plant so strange that researchers predicted—and 27 years later, proved—that opossums are key to its pollination. The findings are published in the Ecological Society of America's journal Ecology.

Cute marsupial had a fierce fossil relative

Short-tailed opossums are cute little marsupials which live in South America, but a new discovery shows they had a fierce fossil relative.

Opossums found to be more social than thought

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Brazil has found that opossums are more social in their dens than thought. In their paper published in The Royal Society Biology Letters, the team ...

Extinct kitten-sized hunter discovered

A Case Western Reserve University student and his mentor have discovered an ancient kitten-sized predator that lived in Bolivia about 13 million years ago—one of the smallest species reported in the extinct order Sparassodonta.

Boys are right-handed, girls are left...

Well at least this is true for sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) and grey short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica), finds an article in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology, and shows that handedness ...

Pythons apparently wiping out Everglades mammals

A burgeoning population of huge pythons - many of them pets that were turned loose by their owners when they got too big - appears to be wiping out large numbers of raccoons, opossums, bobcats and other mammals in the Everglades, ...

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Opossum

Several; see text

Opossums (Didelphimorphia, /daɪˌdɛlfɨˈmɔrfiə/) make up the largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere, including 103 or more species in 19 genera. They are also commonly called possums, though that term technically refers to Australian fauna of the suborder Phalangeriformes. The Virginia opossum was the first animal to be named an opossum; usage of the name was published in 1610. The word opossum comes from the Proto-Algonquian aposoum, pronounced *wa˙p- aʔθemw, meaning "white dog" or "white beast/ animal". Opossums probably diverged from the basic South American marsupials in the late Cretaceous or early Paleocene.

Their unspecialized biology, flexible diet and reproductive strategy make them successful colonizers and survivors in diverse locations and conditions.[citation needed]

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