Saturday, October 15, 2011

We have a winner!

Congratulations go to K&A of Little Alexander for correctly identifying the skull in yesterday's photo. Their prize is a home cooked meal when they come to visit the farm.

It's an opossum - Didelphis virginiana. I realize that I could have given you a better scale to work with. The skull is about 5-6 inches in length, and it's sitting on the hitch of the boom-pole for the tractor.

Here are some fun facts about 'possums as told to me by Farmer John as he read out of his "Mammals of Minnesota" field guide:

- Gestation is 12-13 DAYS, at which point they crawl unassisted into the pouch.
- The brain cavity of a possum can hold 26 navy beans. (While a similar sized raccoon's brain cavity can hold 139 navy beans.)
- They are popular table-fare in southeast Minnesota. Which, I swear, came straight from the book!

And so concludes your nerdy-naturalist lesson for the day.


  1. Yay! From our The Wild Mammals of Missouri,"baked opossum is a traditional dish in some localities."

    We hope to take you up on that prize sometime this winter.

  2. Duh. Seems so obvious. Still, a fun contest and I learned interesting facts with the answer.

  3. On WGN Thursday or Friday there was quite a bit of discussion about the Virginia 'possum! How prolific they are. How well they do in urban areas. What a short gestation period they have. How they carry disease. John Williams was hiiarious about the critters. There is so much synchronicity in the world!

  4. How old is that field guide? I lived in SE Minnesota for 8 years and never heard of anyone eating them. My husband grew up there and never heard of it either. I did hit one with my car there once though.


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