What do we know about opossums? You know, on Earth there are places where there live animals - contemporaries of dinosaurs. Perhaps, it is possible to carry turtles to the most known. However not all know, as among mammals there are such representatives! For example, opossums. During 200 million years of the existence these marsupials remained the primitive mammals who nearby departed on an evolution tree from “ maternal branch “. However they easily adapt to various climatic and food conditions, thanks to it opossums extended on all Southern and most part of North America, up to Canada.
the Sizes of opossums are small: length of a body is 7 - 50 cm, a tail of 4 - 55 cm. Having looked at an opossum, you will notice at once that he carefully looks after the wool: long licks it and combs claws of forepaws, at the same time balancing on hind legs and a tail.
The opossum timid, leads the single, wandering life. It is active mainly at night. Despite big attachment to trees, opossums prefer to lodge on more or less open spaces - on the forest edges, bogs which grew with a bush heathlands. One animal occupies the territory from 6 to 10 hectares. Having spent night in slow roving, having overcome sometimes 3 - 5 km, it is arranged to sleep in a hollow of the tumbled-down tree or in a lot of dead wood. Opossums suit any place where there is water.
They are so unpretentious to food, changing the diet depending on a season and local conditions. Opossums mainly predators, eat carrion and any living creatures with which they can cope. As required are willingly fed with fruit.
Opossums also serve as production to larger and aggressive predators - foxes, wolves, dogs, cats, hawks, owls, and even to the person who appreciates their fur and meat, similar to pork. At heart opossums are not aggressive and usually prefer to battle flight from danger. However fifty sharp as needles, teeth do this animal by the serious opponent and if to finish him excessively, it can be developed and put to the persecutor a painful sting. But the small animal quite often manages to outwit the enemy by an unusual method of protection: he pretends to be the dead. It is necessary to recognize this trick used in desperate situations when there is no other exit left any more as one of the most convincing tricks in an animal kingdom. The skillful pretender relaxes all muscles, turning into a shapeless lump of wool, strong narrows eyes and puts out tongue from the slightly opened mouth, having grinned in a dreadful grimace, and anal glands let out a secret with an unpleasant smell. It can be pinched, pushed, lifted in air and to throw on the earth - the opossum does not give the slightest signs of life! This imaginary death often saves to an opossum life - the persecutor, having sniffed “ carrion “ usually leaves. A time later opossum “ comes to life “ also runs away.
Opossums bring posterity often and in large quantities, sometimes to 20 cubs in a dung, but no more than 13 drive out of this number. It is caused by curious discrepancy: at all females of an opossum on 13 sosts. Therefore, kids, the first born and advanced to creep at a maternal belly from patrimonial ways to a bag have the best chances. There are these semi-embryos, it is less than bee the size, are attached to mammary glands and in such situation remain till 3 months. When in a bag it becomes close, the most brisk get over on mother`s back. Though opossums are unpretentious in food and the district of accommodation, they live not for long - rare more than 2 years.
I would like to finish article with K. Graham`s words: “ Any animal, being guided by an instinct, behaves according to the nature, - so, lives wisely and by that improves customs of the human race. All of them are honest and simple. Each animal bears in itself truth - therefore, each good and is fine by the nature “. People need to learn to much from animals, isn`t it?]