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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - What is a opossum’s mating habits?

What is a opossum’s mating habits?

Opossums are very successful in surviving as a species, partially because of their size, and frequent periods in which they carry their litters. The breeding season for opossums begins during the winter, in January and often continues until the middle of November.

As it comes with being a marsupial, opossums will give birth to still undeveloped babies. It will only pass 12 days after the breeding, when anywhere between five to ten still undeveloped pups will crawl into the pouch of their mother. Here, each of the babies will firmly attach to it's mother’s teat.

While they are in the pouch of their mother, possum pups will there find nourishment and warmth. Until they are old enough to live on their own, the mother’s pouch is the safest place for baby possums. The pouch provides such safety to the babies, that, when it's closed, it is sealed so well that the pups will remain dry while their mother swims.

When babies are between 60 and 70 days old, the babies that are the size of the mouse, will begin to crawl out of the pouch of their mother for short periods of time, after which they will return to suckle. When the youngs are between 80 and 90 days old, they will begin to ride on the back of their mother. They are going to attach their feet and tail firmly to the mother’s fur. The myth that the female opossum carries her babies on their tail is, sadly, just a myth.

Up until they are three months old, the possum babies will depend on their mother to survive. At about three and a half months of age, the opossum youngsters will begin to climb out of their den and learn to feed on their own. After the youngsters become capable of taking care of themselves and become fully independent, they will soon disperse and establish territories of their own. The dispersion of youngsters signifies the end of one breeding circle of possums, and the beginning of another one.

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