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.

Researchers reveal ancient origins of modern opossum

A University of Florida researcher has co-authored a study tracing the evolution of the modern opossum back to the extinction of the dinosaurs and finding evidence to support North America as the center of origin for all ...

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, ...

Rapid venom evolution in pit vipers may be defensive

Research published recently in PLoS One delivers new insight about rapid toxin evolution in venomous snakes: pitvipers such as rattlesnakes may be engaged in an arms race with opossums, a group of snake-eating American marsupials. ...

Climate change driving Michigan mammals north

(PhysOrg.com) -- Some Michigan mammal species are rapidly expanding their ranges northward, apparently in response to climate change, a new study shows. In the process, these historically southern species are replacing their ...

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 ...

page 1 from 2

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]

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA