This Opossum (a.k.a Possum) (Didelphis virginiana) belongs to Marcella, one of my environmental education colleagues, a wildlife rehabilitator. She brought her to our summer science camp to show the kids. It is amazing to watch her eat a grape, she peels it in her mouth and then spits out the skin and the seeds! Opossums have 52 teeth, they are omnivores that will eat many different foods. Many dead opossums are seen along the roadsides is because of human trash, another reason not to litter! Note the wide-spread toes on the front feet, the hind feet have a thumb-like inside toe. It is very easy to identify opossum tracks. Although opossums have a "prehensile" tail, they can use it to hang by only when they are small.
These strange creatures date back to the time of the dinosaurs in the Cretaceous period. They are the only marsupials found in North American. The baby opossums are born hairless and extrememly tiny, they crawl up to the mother's pouch, begin to nurse and then remain there until they are large enough exit. (see next photo) Mother opossums often carry larger babies on their back.