Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
Virginia Opossum
Virginia Opossum
Common Name North American Opossum
Range Eastern North America and Central America down into Costa Rica.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Didelphimorphia
Family Didelphidae
Genus Didelphis
Species D. virginiana
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana), sometimes known as the North American Opossum is the only marsupial who's native range is found outside of Mexico.


The word "opossum" comes from the Powhatan word aposoum meaning "white animal" which comes from Proto-Algonquian *wa·p-aʔθemwa meaning "white dog".


The Virginia opossum has black fur with a white face and snout. Like most mammals, its eyes are black and beady. It has a long, pink tail that it uses to cling to trees. It has black whiskers and a large pink nose. It looks like a giant rat.


The Virginia opossum is the only marsupial in North America, it is common in much of the eastern United States and is gradually spreading into extreme south Canada. The raccoon's native range includes most of North America, and it has been introduced to the Pacific Coast as far north as Vancouver, British Columbia. Some of its largest populations occur in coastal California and throughout the Southeastern United States. Late-night drivers may occasionally spot raccoons along several routes known to harbor sizable numbers, such as Loop Road in Big Cypress National Preserve (Florida), Highway 1 north and south of Salt Point (California), roads near Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge (Ohio), Shenandoah National Park (Virginia), and the access road to White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (Louisiana). This highly adaptable species is also common in many urban environments like Baton Rouge, Homestead, and Berkeley. Raccoons frequently visit bird feeders at night to forage, and in southern Ontario may occasionally do so during winter days as well, drawn by accessible food sources.

Time of Daily Activity[]

The common opossum is Nocturnal.

Special Features[]

  • Long pink tail that helps it cling to trees
  • Claws to increase grip
  • Being in the Marsupials group, it is actually the only marsupial present in North America!


The common opossum feeds on mostly berries.

Common Opossums In Fiction[]

  • The opossums from Over The Hedge. One is an adult male and the other is a young female.