21 February 2010

Place Your Vote: Cute or Ugly?

One day last week, I arrived home from work to find a Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) feeding on black-oil sunflower seeds under the tree in our front yard from which we hang several bird feeders. We have since seen our new guest on several occasions munching on seeds under the feeders in our backyard, and taking shelter under the stairs behind our house.


Although the Virginia Opossum has more teeth (50) than any other Indiana mammal, members of the species are not generally aggressive. When frightened, opossums often involuntarily act like they are dead, leading to the colloquial phrase "playing 'possum;" however, they will also often hiss or growl and show off their sharp teeth. Opossums will eat nearly anything and are considered omnivorous scavengers. The species is found in Central and North America east of the Rocky Mountains, but has also been introduced along the West Coast of the United States. This is the only marsupial in North America north of the Rio Grande River. As such, newborn opossums live in their mother's pouch for one to three months before they become too large and need to migrate from the pouch to their mother's back.


This leads to my survey question... what do you think? Is the opossum cute or ugly? Personally, I think they are very cute (just look at that face!), but Lindsay disagrees. Please help us settle our debate.



Sources:
http://www.opossum.org/facts.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Opossum
http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/5686.htm

14 comments:

Beth said...

We have one that comes up on the deck from time to time looking for bird seed. Personally, I think they're cute, but I think we're in the minority!

Jennifer said...

Definitely Cute!!!

Scott Namestnik said...

Sweet. Counting my vote and Lindsay's, cute is up 3-1.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Just slightly a bit more cute than ugly :o)

毛衣 said...

快樂的微笑是保持生命康健的唯一藥石,它的價值千萬,卻不要花費一文錢 ..................................................

Scott Namestnik said...

Just slightly? Really? Come on... that think is adorable!

Justin Thomas said...

Though I appreciate and defend their role as a valuable member of our ecosystem, they make my skin crawl. I'm casting a vote for ugly. Funny as it sounds, marsupials have strange, protruding rumps; like sewer rats. I am much more fond of placentals.

Scott Namestnik said...

You're just jealous.

Anonymous said...

sorry scott, i go with lindsay. ugly

Scott Namestnik said...

4-3 for cute...

Anonymous said...

mom says kinda ugly too. looks like a "fat rat".

Scott Namestnik said...

OK... 4-4 now...

Anonymous said...

Awkward and ungainly, but quite cute, I think.

~Mark

Scott Namestnik said...

Great! Thanks Mark... 5-4 cute.