Polarized Light Microscopy Digital Image Gallery

Opossum Hair

The opossum is one of the only marsupials that is found naturally outside of the Australia-New Guinea region. Moreover, their populations remain strong despite the ongoing destruction of the wooded areas they typically inhabit. The success of the animals is generally attributed to their flexible eating habits as omnivores and their impressive rate of reproduction. Indeed, the gestation period of opossums is less than two weeks and there are typically about ten babies in a single litter. The young opossums of most species are born blind and furless, weighing only about two grams each. After birth, these tiny creatures must climb along the fur of the mother to reach her frontal pouch, in which they reside for several more weeks, feeding and continuing their development. Subsequently, they spend another few months carried upon the back of the mother, who feeds and protects them until they are mature enough to fend for themselves.


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