Adorable image of mother opossum carrying her baby on her backLoren Merrill, an integrative ecologist was in rural Illinois conducting the spring bird count on a protected tract of forest and grassland, when some movement on the grassy road ahead of him caught his attention. He said that he grabbed his binoculars from the car-seat and was surprised to see a very handsome opossum sauntering his way.
Opossums are generally nocturnal, and most encounters happen at night (especially on the road). It was unusual to see an opossum ambling along in the daytime, but there was also something very unusual about its back—it seemed to be moving all on its own.
When he took a closer look, and realized that its back was squirming with baby opossums. Mother opossum continued in his direction. Loren said: “It wasn’t until she was 2-3 meters (6-9 feet) away that she also realized that something was amiss—a giant object (my car) was ʙʟᴏᴄᴋɪɴɢ her path.”
Virginia opossums have pretty ᴘᴏᴏʀ vision, but they have excellent olfactory abilities, and she was trying to make sense of the car with her nose. She took a few hesitant steps towards the car, and then decided she would detour around him. Her troop of nine babies seemed unperturbed, and took the opportunity to reposition themselves and adjust their grip on her fur.
Baby opossums (like all marsupials) begin life as pink, hairless, and ʙʟɪɴᴅ joeys no bigger than a jellybean. Once they are born, they immediately crawl to the mother’s pouch and latch onto a nipple, where they continue to develop for the next few months until they get too big for the pouch. At that point, they clamber onto the mom’s back and morph into joey backpacks. They hang out on their mom’s back for a few weeks until one day, they fall off, and begin their solitary juvenile and adult ʟɪᴠᴇs.
Opossums, or more normally called possums in North America, were common mammals to the men of the Corps. But today, possums are one of the most misunderstood animals in the continent. They’re often believed to be stupid, ᴅɪʀᴛʏ creatures, but the truth is just the opposite – possums are smarter, cleaner, and more beneficial to humans than many of their wild neighbors.
While they’re not the cutest creatures, when you look at these images, you will have to say how cute they are, or how funny they look.