Lesson Plan - Get It!
- Did you know North America is home to a specific type of marsupial?
- Do you know what kind of marsupial is pictured above?
It looks like a big rat, but it isn't!
Opossums are found in North America.
They can be found nearly everywhere in the United States. This small mammal is a marsupial.
- Do you remember what a marsupial is?
If not, then visit or review the Related Lessons in the right-hand sidebar.
Marsupials are mammals that have underdeveloped babies that grow in their mother's pouch. These critters can be found living in hollow trees and burrows.
Opossums are scavengers. This means they eat whatever they can find. They can be found rummaging through trash in cities. They can also be seen searching for insects, mice, grasses, birds, and pretty much anything else they can find.
They are omnivores — they eat both plants and animals.
Opossums, like all marsupials, have pouches where their underdeveloped babies live. Opossums have around twenty babies at a time, but only about half of them survive.
The baby opossums spend two to three months in the pouch. After they leave the pouch, they hang on to their mother's back for about one month.
- Can you see the babies on the mother's back below?
The babies learn how to climb and hunt from their mothers while they are riding on their mother's back.
Before moving on to the Got It? section, explain what opossums eat.