Story: Possums

Young possum in pouch

Young possum in pouch

Female possums give birth to a single baby 17–18 days after conception. After birth the tiny baby climbs into its mother’s pouch and attaches itself to her teat for 70 days. The baby then begins to release the teat for increasing periods. It leaves the pouch for short periods after developing fur and opening its eyes (around 110–120 days after birth). Most baby possums leave the pouch when they are about five to six months old, although they may continue suckling for another two to three months.

About this item

Natural Sciences Image Library of New Zealand
Reference: Ma855Rbt.tif
Photograph by G. R. Roberts

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How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching, 'Possums - Possums in New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/16885/young-possum-in-pouch (accessed 23 October 2017)

Story by Gerard Hutching, published 24 Nov 2008, updated 1 Jul 2015