Why are opposums successful compared to other marsupials?

And BTW you just derailed my original post, of all people you should have known better?

It’s “opossum,” by the way.

Actually, they don’t all belong to the same group. There are three separate orders of marsupials in South America, the Didelphimorphia, Paucituberculata, and Microbiotheria. While they are all commonly called “opossums” they are not very closely related to one another.

So what? That doesn’t mean that placentals are competitively superior as a group. Ecologically, since the opossums are mainly carnivores/omnivores, the most direct comparison is to the Carnivora. Opossums are more than three times as diverse as the Carnivora in South America.

Your original post was based on the entirely false premise that “marsupials are failures compared to placentals.” You can’t include such statements in an OP and not expect them to be addressed.

Only on Tuesdays and Fridays. :wink:

Thanks for recognizing that I am not “the least subjective.”

Objectively, there is no “obvious” evidence that placentals as a group are superior to marsupials.

I was unaware that you viewed this as a political rather than a scientific argument. What, are the placentals supposed to be capitalists and the marsupials socialists? (Maybe the monotremes are anarchists…)

In fact, your viewpoint on the inferiority of marsupials is very much a nineteenth century one. More modern evolutionary thought doesn’t look at them that way.

Um…griffon? Colibri actually IS a biologist, and one of the most knowledgeable posters on the board as far as the subject goes. I don’t think that you’re going to get anywhere twitting him about not knowing what he’s talking about, since pretty much everybody who’s been here longer than a year or so knows that he KNOWS what he’s talking about.

Too bad I’m not one of those mindless people who kow-tow the so-called “autorities” or “experts” or whatever without a second-thought. Doesn’t matter what job he does, just because someone has some degree does not make his opinions factual or unbiased. I for one consider myself more knowledgeable than him and I don’t need any “confirmation” or endorsement like you just gave to him. This is the key difference between those ignorant masses and the true enlightend people.

Don’t true enlightened people know how to spell “enlightened”?

Is spelling it “opposum” supposed to indicate what an independent thinker you are? Fight the Power! :smiley:

Your position is quite obviously not based on an objective evaluation of the evidence (especially since you don’t appear to know much about the actual evidence). As I said, it is very much an artifact of outmoded nineteenth century evolutionary views, in which there was a linear progression from lower to higher forms. Marsupials were regarded as a sort of “half-mammal” that hadn’t quite made the grade compared to the “true mammals,” the placentals. This is reflected in the names given to the groups by Thomas Huxley in 1880, the Metatheria (“almost-beasts”) and the Eutheria (“good-beasts”).

It was assumed that marsupials represented an evolutionary stage in the progression to placentals, and that placentals had marsupial or marsupial-like ancestors. In fact, fossil evidence has shown that the two groups are of similar antiquity, and that one did not evolve from the other.

Far from showing you are “enlightend,” your opinion just shows that you are stuck in a mode of evolutionary thinking that has been obsolete for decades.

Trust me, I know about evolution way more than you do. And marsupials being inefficient to placentals is not some idealogy, it’s a simple fact. You obviously ignore mountains of evidence in favor of your equalitarian view of the natural world, which I think shows how poor you are as a biologist as you shape your opinions around your ideology.

I don’t really want to crawl up Colibri’s butt here, but the man is an actual biologist! He WORKS IN THAT FIELD! I trust him to know what he’s talking about more than one of this year’s Junebunnies with no discernible credentials in the field.



May I ask where exactly you acquired this comprehensive knowledge? And why you don’t show any evidence of it in your posts?

If it’s a simple fact, prove it. You got demolished in your last thread on the subject.

Again, you’re the one who seems to think this is some kind of ideological issue. Because of their reproductive systems and physiological traits, marsupials may be superior to placentals in some circumstances and not in others. But you can’t make a blanket statement that they are intrinsically inferior.

I don’t know about that, but the felidae are libertarians. :wink:

Of course it’s ideological, and a matter of Placental Survival to boot! The International Conspiracy of Jewish Marsupial Bankers must be smashed before its nefarious quest for world domination can be realized!!

The Master Aryan Races of Placentals are under attack, and must mobilize to destroy the evil ambitions of the Marsupial Conspiracy!!! Have not the ignorami (Colibri, we’re looking at you) read and understood The Protocols of the Elder Marsupials of Zion??? Is the urgency of the crisis not obvious???

The Final Solution to the Marsupial Question is at hand!!! These failed evolutionary outcasts, undesirable parasites of the Mammalian Order, must be and will be eliminated!!!

Wake up, fellow Placentals, and smell the sweet ambrosia of Enligtonment!!! Kow-tow no longer to the Marsupial “autorities” that have infiltrated the highest places in our governments and financial centers of power!!! Confront Pouches with Power!!! The willing dupes like jayjay and his fellow ignorant minions must be pushed aside, and the Master Race of Placentals will reign for 10-thousand years!!!

(Bolding added)

Words of evolutionary wisdom from a GRIFFON!

Well, son, when a mommy eagle and a daddy lion love each other very much…



Considering the OP’s spelling skilz, I’m not sure which one he intended.:slight_smile:

Sometimes they dont. Sometimes they just get very drunk and hook up.

I dont know much about Avian/Feline miscegenation, but if I could find a learned biologist around here, I’d surely ask some questions.

I have noted and wondered about this same thing, Oly. When I was going to OSU in the early 1980s, opossums were common as dirt, and seeing road kills was an everyday occurance. I live in the same neck of the woods now, but I rarely see opossums live or dead. Raccoons, though are thick as thieves, though I seldom see them as road kills except for the one that ran in front of my car the other night and did $900 worth of damage to my front end.

Related question: why haven’t raccoons outcompeted possums? They seem to occupy the same niche - eat the same food sources and frequent the same spaces.

And who would win in a fight between possum and raccoon of similar size? :smiley:

South of Los Angeles here we have had a steady increase of Raccoons for several years now. The raccoon grows much larger than the possum. They seem to get to know one another along with the local cats and tolerate each other very well. Possums tend to graze quite a bit on earth worms and snails where the coons lean more toward pet food and garbage. Very common to see a house cat, raccoon and possum all at the same food dish or raiding the same trash can at a restaurant. Who ever is the biggest tends to eat first. Skunks, foxes and coyotes are more animals we are seeing more of today. The foxes and coyotes tend to stay within a couple blocks of an open field or drainage ditch.

Possums breed very fast. Raccoons are somewhat more picky eaters than possums.

A Raccoon, they can outweigh a possum 2-1. Of course, that’s a range. They are also a LOT smarter.

We also have (as badger5149 sez) coyotes, who more or less also eat foods in the same sort of range as possums & raccoons.

Several species have become very successful are they have learned to co-exist with humans- ravens, pigeons, possums, coyotes, raccoons, the rat, etc. The raven, being fast and smart, has learned to eat roadkill without becoming roadkill.

I think joining them will be the peregrine falcon. They love to eat pigeons and can roost on hi-rise buildings. We have one female here in San Jose who has raised 5 batches of fledglings. I tip my hat to her, anything that eats pigeons is on my good list.

The pergrines as well as coopers hawks, sharp shins and few others are showing up more
than ever around the South Bay area of Los Angeles. The common sparrow hawk which was very common is now seldom seen.