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Mississippi State University

Opossum (Didelphis virginianus)

Movement


Results

Movement rates did not differ (P = 0.106) between sexes or across diel periods (P = 0.133). Similarly, movement rates during diurnal periods (285.8 m/hr) did not differ (P = 0.299) than during crepuscular and nocturnal periods (366 m/hr).

Summary

Movement rates by opossums were similar to those of many nocturnal or crepuscular mammals. In general, movement rates were greatest during crepuscular periods and lowest during midday. Previous research has indicated that movements differ between sexes with males generally moving farther distances than females. However, we did not detect sex-specific differences in movement rates, likely a function of a low number of females monitored during spring, a period females would be expected to decrease movement because of parturition and young-raising responsibilities.