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Virginia Opossum

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Virginia Opossum
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Didelphimorphia
Family: Didelphidae
Subfamily: Didelphinae
Genus: Didelphis
Species: D. virginiana
Binomial name
Didelphis virginiana
(Kerr, 1792)

The Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana), sometimes called a possum, is a marsupial. There are many marsupials in Australia, but the Virginia Opossum is the only North American marsupial.


An opossum is about the size of a house cat. It has grizzled white and gray fur. Adult opossums weigh about 2-6 kg (4-14 lbs). They live alone, are active at night, and they are good climbers.


People can find this opossum in the eastern United States, and along the west coast from British Columbia and to Baja California. They like to live in forests, brushy areas, and farmland.


  1. Cuarón, A. D., Emmons, L., Helgen, K., Reid, F., Lew, D., Patterson, B., Delgado, C. & Solari, S. (2008). Didelphis virginiana. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2008. Retrieved on 28 December 2008. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern