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From Powhatan aposoum (“white animal”), from Proto-Algonquian *wa·p-aʔθemw (“white dog”); compare Ojibwe waabasim (“white dog”).
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
There are 3 species of opossum.
The opossum (Didelphis) is represented by three or four species, two of which are so small that they are generally called wood rats.
The opossum of America is the only species out of Australasia which is thus provided.
If it isn't the skunks and opossum killing the chickens, it's the weeds taking over the garden.
The common Australian "opossum" or phalanger (Trichosurus vulpecula) has been naturalized in New Zealand, although very destructive to fruit trees; the value of its fur being probably the motive.
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