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The Mammals of Texas - Online Edition

ORDER DIDELPHIMORPHIA:

OPOSSUM AND ALLIES

Opossums, as a group, are among the oldest, most primitive mammals of the New World. Some scientists call them "living fossils" because they have survived relatively unchanged for at least 50 million years. They are intermediate in many respects between the most primitive of all mammals, the egg-laying monotremes of Australia, and the higher placental mammals. Their chief character is the marsupium or pouch that develops on the abdomen of females. One species occurs in Texas.

Family Didelphidae (opossums)

Virginia Opossum, Didelphis virginiana