Mammals of Cedar Creek

 

Order MARSUPIALIA

(Marsupials)

Family DIDELPHIDAE
The Oppossum (Didelphis marsupialis) is the sole representative of the Order Marsupialia found in Minnesota.  It is fairly common in the Driftless Area of SE Minnesota judging by the number of roadkills encountered there.  Bifid penis, delayed implantation, the tiny young born in April???  Circa xx young are retained in the pouch for xx weeks.  Weaning occurs after xx weeks, and young disperse their first fall.  Its tail is prehensile enabling it to suspend itself from tree branches.  It is apparently extending its range northward, and in late fall and winter of 2000 several roadkills were found along the county roads surrounding Cedar Creek.  One individual attempted to overwinter in a leaf pile near the dormitory.  This species does not hibernate, though it may go into a cold weather torpor.  Winters must be mild for this species to survive as it is subject to freezing its ears, tail, and other extremities.  It is a generalist omnivore consuming grubs, insects, trash, etc and has an affinity for human habitations where it is frequently harrassed and killed by dogs.


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