Didelphidae


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Related to Didelphidae: opossum, American opossum, Didelphimorphia, Possums

Didelphidae

[dī′del·fə‚dē]
(vertebrate zoology)
The opossums, a family of arboreal mammals in the order Marsupialia.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Didelphidae

 

a family of mammals of the order Marsupialia. The body length ranges from 8 to 50 cm, and the tail is 9 to 53 cm long. The body is covered with short, downy fur; some species have long, projecting hairs in the pelage. The prehensile tail is either naked toward the tip or completely naked. The dental system, the limbs, and the pouch attest to the primitive nature of the didelphids.

There are 12 genera, embracing 65 species, distributed in North and South America, from southern Canada to central Argentina. The animals live in forests and thickets. Most forms are arboreal or terrestrial; some species, such as the yapock (Chironectes minimus), are semiaquatic. Didelphids are active at dusk and at night. They are omnivorous or insectivorous. The gestation period is 12 to 16 days. A litter contains as many as 18 young, which are carried in the mother’s pouch for 70 days. Didelphids are hunted for their meat. The opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) is used in laboratory experiments.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mammalia, Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae, Glironia venusta Thomas, 1912 and Chironectes minimus (Zimmermann, 1780): Distribution extension for eastern Amazonia.
Two new species of Philander (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae) from Northern of South America.
microtarsus (Marsupialia: Didelphidae) in Brazilian pantanal and atlantic forest by light and scanning electron microscopy.
A new generic name for Tate's microtarsus group of South American mouse opossums (Marsupialia: Didelphidae).
La familia Didelphidae representa la mayoria de los marsupiales americanos ampliamente distribuidos en Suramerica y fue reportada por Gray en 1821 (TITIRA, 2007), sin embargo su distribucion geografica se extiende desde el sur de Canada hasta el centro de Argentina y desde el nivel del mar hasta por encima de 3000m (CERVANTESef al., 2010), ocupan casi todo tipo de habitats a excepcion de elevaciones extremadamente altas y zonas deserticas (WILLIAMS & GENOWAYS, 2008) (Figuras 3 y 4).
A new species of Philander Brisson, 1762 (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae).
Diet composition of Gracilinanus agilis (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae) in dry woodland areas of Cerrado in central Brazil.
Ampliacion del rango altitudinal de Marmosa lepida (Thomas, 1888) (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae) en el sureste de Ecuador.
Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae: Didelphis marsupialis: MHN-UCC*, 26 de enero de 2009.
La especie ha sido citada en Sudamerica para Argentina, Brasil, Chile y Peru (Johnson 1957) principalmente en aves de las familias Psittacidae, Hirundinidae, Muscicapidae, Strigidae y Columbidae y, ocasionalmente, en marsupiales Didelphidae y roedores Caviidae y Muridae (Autino y Lareschi 1998).
A search in a public database (Google Scholar) for published papers using the word "caviomorph*" returned less than 3 000 results, while "sigmodontinae" returned more than 5 000, "phyllostomidae" returned almost 9 000, and "didelphidae" returned more than 11 000.