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Wild Animals/The Peruvian Opposum


Good Afternoon.
We are in grade 3 in Edmonton. We are doing an inquiry project on the Peruvian opossum Could you help us with...
What are their defenses and enemies.
What is the parental care?
Why are they critically endangered? and is anything being done about it?
Thanks so much
Harleen and Janya,

Hello Janya and Harleen

Thank you for your question.

There are several species of opossum that live in Peru.

These are: Brown-eared Woolly Opossum (Caluromys lanatus); Black-shouldered Opossum (Caluromysiops irrupta); Bushy-tailed Opossum (Glironia venusta); Water Opossum (Chironectes minimus); White-eared Opossum (Didelphis albiventris); Common Opossum (Didelphis marsupialis);
Aceramarca Gracile Opossum (Gracilinanus aceramarcae); Agile Gracile Opossum (Gracilinanus agilis); Peru Gracile Mouse Opossum (Hyladelphys kalinowskii); Anderson's Mouse Opossum (Marmosa andersoni); Rufous Mouse Opossum (Marmosa lepida); Linnaeus's Mouse Opossum (Marmosa murina); Bare-tailed Woolly Mouse Opossum (Marmosa regina); Robinson's Mouse Opossum (Marmosa robinsoni); Red Mouse Opossum (Marmosa rubra); Tschudi's Slender Opossum (Marmosops impavidus); White-bellied Slender Opossum (Marmosops noctivagus); Delicate Slender Opossum (Marmosops parvidens); Brown Four-eyed Opossum (Metachirus nudicaudatus); Sepia Short-tailed Opossum (Monodelphis adusta); Emilia's Short-tailed Opossum (Monodelphis emiliae); Osgood's Short-tailed Opossum (Monodelphis osgoodi); Southern Three-striped Opossum (Monodelphis theresa); Anderson's Four-eyed Opossum (Philander andersoni); Gray Four-eyed Opossum (Philander opossum); Elegant Fat-tailed Opossum (Thylamys elegans). LR/lc

Peru also has 2 species of shrew opossum: Gray-bellied Shrew Opossum (Caenolestes caniventer);
Incan Shrew Opossum (Lestoros inca).

Please can you let me know which species you want information about? Please note that the different species vary in their behaviour.

All the best


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Jonathan Wright


I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.


I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

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BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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