Common Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) - Wiki
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[Photo] Common Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis). Source: Ohio Department of Natural Resources - http://www.ohiodnr.com/wildlife/Resources/wildnotes/pub096.htm
The Common Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) or Manicou (so named in the Antilles) is an opossum species living from the south of Mexico to Bolivia. It prefers the woods, but can also live in fields and cities.
The Common Opossum is approximatively as big as a cat. Its fine and smooth tail can mesure 50 cm. It has 50 teeth.
The Common Opossum is a nocturnal animal. During the day, it sleeps in the hollow of a tree. Its head stays under the rest of its body. It eats fruits (such as mangoes), worms, frogs, and insects but sometimes birds and eggs.
When the Common Opossum feels a danger, it emits a disagreeable smell.
The female births 5 to 9 young between 1 and 3 times the year. The new-borns are kept in the mother's pouch until they can survive on their own. Males take no part in raising the young. The Common Opossum live to the age of 2.5 years on average.
In the Antilles, people eat manicous. It is hunted during the night with a torch, which dazzles the animal. Since 17 February 1989, the species has been protected by French law.
There is some speculation that this opossum, like the armadillo and several other creatures originally from the tropics, has begun moving into the United States.
The name "manicou" probably comes from a Native American language.
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