December 28, 2011
Opossums Love Tin Foil!
A few weeks ago, Sam Easterson followed a trail of tin foil and discovered the den of a Virginia opossum, Didelphis virginiana, underneath one of the Museum's storage sheds. Since then he set up camera traps around the den to see what was going on. This is what we found...A night of tin foil escapades. What on Earth are they doing with all the tin foil? Tin foil hats to ward off alien thought control maybe?
All kidding aside, it seems that this opossum has extracted a tasty morsel from inside the shiny package and is taking it down into the den.
The next day, one of the opossums emerges for a late afternoon jaunt in the park, and takes a peek at the camera trap!
Running away from Museum security!Can you see the flash light?
Doing the Chores
Finally, we caught lots of images of the opossums collecting leaves with their tails! Their prehensile tails are a great tool for grasping small objects and are sometimes used for hanging upside down in trees. Though the notion that they sleep hanging upside down is a myth, their tails are not strong enough to hold them upside down for an entire night.
Wait, there's more tin foil!
What is in store for 2012? Sam's got a few tricks up his sleeve, which I'm not willing to reveal just yet. Suffice it to say that we're all hoping there will be babies in the spring!