Years ago, when I worked at a nature center in Connecticut licensed to care for injured and orphaned wildlife, a baby opossum was brought to us. It was found lying on a golf course, and was too young to be on its own. We named the opossum Alice and estimated it was 9 weeks old. Although we later determined the opossum was a male, the name stuck. [Read more…] about Lessons Learned from Raising Alice, A Baby Opossum
The opossums that show up on my students’ trail cameras at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont sometimes look out of place, with their naked tails and frostbitten ears that seem so poorly suited to our weather.
These amazing consumers of ticks did, after all, come from a different continent – or at least their ancestors did. And their official name, Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), suggests a more southern home. [Read more…] about Virginia Opossums Moving North
I can’t seem to pass a hollow tree without stopping to snoop. If there is a cavity within reach, an investigation is in order. Wear and tear around a hole, evidence of food items on the ground, or simply sounds from within tell of the tenants inside. One of my favorite tricks is to power up my camera, flash on, and poke it inside a tree cavity for a quick snap. My most memorable and rewarding discovery came while lying on my stomach at the hollow base of a huge, dead maple. [Read more…] about The Hidden Life in Hollow Trees
The opposum is the only marsupial living in North America, and they’re one of the oddest-looking, slowest moving mammals around.
They’ve become sort of a folk hero in America, because of their penchant for annually devouring an average of 5,000 of the lyme bacteria carrying black legged ticks, which make the mistake of hitching a ride on the the possum’s low slung body. [Read more…] about Don’t Make Fun of Possums
Anyone who has shared a home with a dog or a cat has learned something about the silent language of tails. Wild and domesticated animals may use tails for everything from communication to courtship, balance to locomotion, and defense to swatting flies.
Tails can range from short to long and be furry, feathered, or naked. [Read more…] about Animal Tails: The Tales They Tell