The answer to last week’s puzzler is a mammal most people have heard of and can identify. This mammal makes numerous “only” and other lists including:
- This mammal has the shortest gestation period of any NA mammal
- This mammal has the most teeth of any NA mammal
- This mammal is the only NA mammal with an opposable thumb (which is on their hind feet)
- This mammal is the only NA mammal without fur on its tail
And the one that will likely give it away:
- This mammal is NA’s only marsupial.
Do you know that baby opossums are born just 11-13 days after the female mates? When they are born, the infants are only the size of honeybees! All of the young–up to 20! could fit in one teaspoon! (The average litter is 8-9)
This mammal has many more amazing adaptations. Do you know much about this common mammal? For instance, is it true that they hang by their tails when sleeping? What do they eat? How long do they live? Are they likely to carry rabies? Why do they “play dead” and how long can they do this?
So many questions! There is so much to learn about this animal. Check back next week to read more as this mammal will be the Weekly Creature Feature. (If you have been paying attention you might have noticed I said that the screech owl would be this week’s Creature Feature… and then I featured the Groundhog instead! I haven’t forgotten… just have postponed the owl a couple of weeks. If you are interested in learning about this small owl… stay tuned. I haven’t forgotten.)
Here is the next Weekly Puzzler.