Ask an Opossum

By MDC | January 1, 2022
From Xplor: January/February 2022
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Hi! I’m Phi, Xplor’s mail possum. I know a lot about nature. If you have a question, email me at AskPhi@mdc.mo.gov.

Q: Why do opossums have pouches?

From Avayah, age 7

A: Believe it or not, girl possums are the only mammal in Missouri with a pouch. We’re marsupials, like kangaroos and koalas. A pouch is a big pocket, but instead of cellphones and spare change, we keep babies in there. Newborn possums aren’t much bigger than kidney beans. They’re too itty-bitty to survive on their own, so they crawl inside their mom’s pouch. Once they’re in there, the little pouch potatoes have a safe place to grow for nearly two months.

This Issue's Staff

ARTIST
Alexis (AJ) Joyce

PHOTOGRAPHERS
Noppadol Paothong
David Stonner

DESIGNERS
Marci Porter
Les Fortenberry

ART DIRECTOR
Cliff White

EDITOR
Matt Seek

SUBSCRIPTIONS
Laura Scheuler

MAGAZINE MANAGER
Stephanie Thurber