Genus and Species: Monodelphis domestica
4-7.8 inches long
2 years in the wild
4 years in captivity
Gray short-tailed opossums are found throughout Brazil, south of the Amazon River, as well as eastern Bolivia, northern Paraguay, and a small section of northern Argentina. The short-tailed opossum gets its scientific species name “domestica” due to its reputation for entering human residences.
Short-tailed opossums are omnivores that eat small rodents, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and fruits. Short-tailed opossums are fast and have incredibly sharp teeth that allow them to take down prey their own size.
If you are from the United States or Canada, you might not know there is more than one type of opossum. In fact, there are actually over 100 species of opossum, and short-tailed opossums are one of them!
Short-tailed opossums are nocturnal animals that are similar in size and shape to voles. Unlike the Virginia opossum which has a fully prehensile tail, the tail of the short-tailed opossum is only partially prehensile. Additionally, the short-tailed opossum lack a pouch! These opossums do, however, have retractable teats.