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Old 11-29-2012, 06:33 PM   #1
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opossum Natural Life of the Lost Coast: The Virginia Opossum

Natural Life of the Lost Coast: The Virginia Opossum
Redwood Times
Posted: 11/20/2012 12:40:56 PM PST

Natural Life of the Lost Coast: The Virginia Opossum - Redwood Times
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Another immigrant from South America? Yup. Three million years ago, the Panama land bridge was connected and opossums migrated north into Mexico and the eastern USA. They were motored from back east into California during the Depression.

About 160 million years ago dinosaurs ruled, but small early mammals scurried about. All the continents were joined together as Pangaea. This super-continent started breaking up 30 million years later, when rifting began to open the Atlantic Ocean. An ancestral marsupial found in North America was very similar to the modern opossum. It was probably arboreal, with a prehensile tail and clawless, opposable big toes.

As rifting continued, South America became an island continent, with a fauna of primitive placental herbivores (plant eaters), sloths and anteaters, giant running killer birds, and marsupials. There were no...
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