How do Opossums carry their babies? Biology

Home » How do Opossums carry their babies? Biology
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
opossum

Opossum

The earliest mammals, about 200 million years ago, hatched from eggs and then got milk from their mothers, like the duck-billed platypus. But soon after that, about 125 million years ago, these mammals evolved into mammals that were born alive, but helpless and tiny. These tiny babies then lived in a pouch of their mother’s skin and drank milk there until they were big enough to come out of the pouch and live on their own.

Most animals like this have evolved into other kinds of mammals, but the opossum is a good example of an animal that still lives in a pouch when it is a baby.

Opossum pouch

An opossum pouch with babies inside

An opossum baby has to live inside a pouch because it is too small to be able to keep itself warm otherwise, and a warm-blooded animal like a mammal has to keep itself warm. But the smaller the animal, the more surface area it has compared to its volume, and the harder it is to keep warm.

Another mammal – chimpanzees

More about mammals

More about chordates

Bibliography and further reading about opossums:

Another mammal – chimpanzees

More about mammals

More about chordates
Biology
Quatr.us home

By | 2017-05-26T16:09:40+00:00 May 26th, 2017|Biology|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. How do Opossums carry their babies? Biology. Quatr.us Study Guides, May 26, 2017. Web. December 11, 2017.

About the Author:

Karen Carr

Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

Leave A Comment