ETYM Of North American Indian origin.
Nocturnal arboreal marsupial having a naked prehensile tail found from southern North America to northern South America; SYN. possum.
Small gray American marsupial, and its fur.
Any of a family (Didelphidae) of marsupials native to North and South America. Most opossums are tree-living, nocturnal animals, with prehensile tails, and hands and feet well adapted for grasping. They range from 10 cm/4 in to 50 cm/20 in in length and are insectivorous, carnivorous, or, more commonly, omnivorous.
The name is also popularly applied to some of the similar-looking phalangers found in Australia.
Most true opossums are confined to Central and South America, but the American opossum Didelphis marsupialis, with yellowish-gray fur, has spread its range into North America.