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Midwest Wilderness Connections Eco-brief: The Opossum

Over 3 million years ago, the Panama land bridge formed and connected the North American and South American Continents prompting the Great American Biotic Exchange. Virginia opossums migrated from South America into North America and are the only marsupials found in the North American hemisphere. A mother opossum can carry three litters at once, one hitching a ride on her back, one in her marsupial pouch, and one in her uterus. Opossums are active over winter and may experience freeze bite on their exposed ears and tail. They are reasonably harmless, eat ticks, and consequently help to control tick-borne diseases.

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