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Didelphis marsupialis

The opossum, being nocturnal (active at night) is most often seen as flattened fauna (road kill).  One night we were wakened by noises in a loquat tree outside our window.  These pictures were taken through the open window, some at a distance of less than 2 meters.  Opossums have adapted well to suburban life. They have sometimes been reported to Animal Control as "giant rats".

Opossum, Didelphis marsupialis This picture was taken with infrared light (Night Shot).  In nocturnal animals, a reflective layer behind the retina reflects light back out of the eye (like the glass beads on reflectorized signs) making it "glow in the dark".  Making the light pass through the retina twice means the opossum can see better we can in dim light.

Opossum, Didelphis marsupialis He observed us intently as I video taped, but showed no fear.  For this picture I turned on the light on the camera.  Compare the picture made with infrared light to this one made with visible light.

Opossum, Didelphis marsupialis Opossums are most often seen as road kill.

Opossum, Didelphis marsupialis Opossum tracks in fine dust.  It isn't shown this way in my field guide.  Here each hind foot came down on top of the print of the fore foot.  But if you look closely, you can make out the peculiar shapes of the front and hind feet.

[Taxonomy : Classification]
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