I've seen opossums that weren't afraid of me, though.
It may open either forward or backwards; and although present in the great majority of the species, and enclosing the teats, it may, as in many of the opossums, be completely absent, when the teats extend in two rows along the whole length of the under-surface of the body.
Wallace, this author is of opinion that marsupials did not effect an entrance into Australia till about the middle of the Tertiary period, their ancestors being probably opossums of the American type.
Taking opossums to have been the ancestors of the group, the author considers that the present writer may be right in his view that marsupials entered Australia from Asia by way of New Guinea.
The first family is that of the true or American opossums- Didelphyidae, in which there are five pairs of upper incisors, while the feet are of the presumed primitive arboreal type, the hind foot having the four outer toes subequal and separate, with the first opposable to them all.
From the Oligocene deposits of France and southern England have been obtained numerous remains of opossums referable to the American family Didelphyidae.
These ancient opossums have been separated generically from Didelphys (in its widest sense) on account of certain differences in the relative sizes of the lower premolars, but as nearly the whole of the species have been formed .on lower jaws, of which some hundreds have been found, it is impossible to judge how far these differences are correlated with other dental or osteological characters.
The opossums of America are marsupials, though not showing anomalies as great as kangaroos and bandicoots (in their feet), and Myrmecobius (in the number of teeth).
Except the opossums, no single living marsupial is known outside the Australian zoological region.
Arboreal species include the well-known opossums (Phalanger); the extraordinary tree-kangaroo of the Queensland tropics; the flying squirrel, which expands a membrane between the legs and arms, and by its aid makes long sailing jumps from tree to tree; and the native bear (Phascolarctos), an animal with no affinities to the bear, and having a long soft fur and no tail.
Among the more common species of game are squirrels, opossums, musk-rats, rabbits, racoons, wild turkeys, ", partridges" (quail, or Bob White), geese, and ducks; deer, black bears, grey (or timber) wolves, black wolves and "wild cats" (lynx), once common, have become rare.
Foxes are still found in considerable numbers in suitable habitats; opossums, skunks and raccoons are plentiful in some parts of the state; and rabbits and squirrels are still numerous.
Of smaller mammals, raccoons, squirrels and opossums are very common.
Opossums and skunks (several varieties of the Mephitis and several of the Spilogale, including S.
Much more numerous are squirrels, rabbits, " groundhogs " (woodchucks), opossums, skunks, weasels and minks.
The first white settlers found great numbers of buffaloes, deer, elks, geese, ducks, turkeys and partridges, also many bears, panthers, lynx, wolves, foxes, beavers, otters, minks, musk-rats, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, woodchucks, opossums and A I .° Longitude West 89 Greenwich C E Fayette, ?
Squirrels, racoons, woodchucks and skunks are common, and musk-rats, porcupines and opossums are found in some sections.
The Carnivora include bears, wolverines, wolves, raccoons, foxes, sables, martens, skunks, kolinskis, fitch, fishers, ermines, cats, sea otters, fur seals, hair seals, lions, tigers, leopards, lynxes, jackals, &c. The Rodentia include beavers, nutrias, musk-rats or musquash, marmots, hamsters, chinchillas, hares, rabbits, squirrels, &c. The Ungulata include Persian, Astrachan, Crimean, Chinese and Tibet lambs, mouflon, guanaco, goats, ponies, &c. The Marsupialia include opossums, wallabies and kangaroos.
Opossums and wallabies, good useful furs, come from Australia and New Zealand.
Caymans, water-hogs (capinchos), several kinds of deer (Cervus paludosus the largest), ounces, opossums, armadillos, vampires, the American ostrich, the ibis, the jabiru, various species popularly called partridges, the pato real or royal duck, the Palamedea cornuta, parrots and parakeets, are among the more notable forms. Insect life is peculiarly abundant; the red stump-like ant-hills are a feature in every landscape, and bees used to be kept in all the mission villages.
There are two species of the Edentata, Dasypus and Pichiciego, the latter very rare, and one of the opossums. European animals, such as horses, cattle, sheep, swine and goats, have been introduced into the country and do well.
Tasmanian savages were crafty warriors and kangaroo-hunters, and the women climbed the highest trees by notching, in quest of opossums. Shell-fish and crabs were taken, and seals knocked on the head with clubs, but neither fish-hook nor fishing-net was known, and indeed swimming fish were taboo as food.
Opossums, raccoons, woodchucks, foxes, grey squirrels and fox-squirrels are common.
Special adaptations for climbing are exhibited by both pairs of limbs in opossums, and for hanging to boughs in sloths.
As regards function, the tail may be a mere pendent appendage, or may be adapted to grasp boughs in climbing, or even to collect food or materials for a nest or sleeping place, as in the spider-monkeys, opossums and rat-kangaroos.
Callosities, or bare patches covered with hardened and thickened epidermis, are found on the buttocks of many apes, the breast of camels, the inner side of the limbs of Equidae, the grasping under-surface of the tail of prehensile-tailed monkeys, opossums; &c. The greater part of the skin of the onehorned Asiatic rhinoceros is immensely thickened and stiffened by an increase of the tissue of both the skin and epidermis, constituting the well-known jointed " armour-plated " hide of those animals.