Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Roadkill identified

Opossum found dead along bike lanePosted by Hello

Remember on Sunday I mentioned that I came across a roadkill on my way back from the farmer's market and I was hoping that a taxonomically trained reader of mine would be able to help me identify it? Well that has been solved!

Today in class my biogeography teacher was talking about the great america interchange and one of the native species of South America which migrated northwards is the - opossum!

He showed several pictures of the opossums and voila! Those marsupials who look like a really big rat or a really small dog are really common in North America with a large population in the east and specifically in california as well!

Incredible... so there are mammals in North America afterall.

First racoons, now opossums... what next? A mountain lion?

PS: Of all the mammals that migrated northwards, one of the few that did not move from S. America are the primates! That is why we monkeys like to stay specifically in the sunshine of costa rica.

was reading up on opossun at http://www.opossum.org/facts.htm and discovered some reasons that explains why the opossum became roadkill!

1) Solitary and nocturnal: usually slow moving; when frightened and unable to flee may fall into an involuntary shock-like state, "playing 'possum".

2) Few live beyond the age of 1 year in the environment; rare reports of living 5 to 10 years in captivity. Killed by many predators: humans (and cars), dogs, cats, owls, and larger wildlife.

At late nights here the roads are dark and that's bound to be when the opossum comes out to play! The car comes at it and it goes into a involuntary shock state and do a deer in the headlights and can't move! BANG. Dead. sigh.

I think this one is a boy coz no pouch. oh well.

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