Opossum B-roll

Grey short-tailed opossums (Monodelphis domestica) are the only marsupial animal bred for research.


1. Young opossum on gloved hand

2. Young opossums explore cage, climb

3. Adult female in cage

4. Female with near adult young

5. Male in cage

6. Female removed for weighing

7. Enrichment: feeding with mealworms

Because marsupials split from our branch of the mammal family tree around 148 million years ago their different biology allows scientists to contrast and compare our evolutionary differences. For example, marsupials have different T cells in their immune system.

Young opossums or joeys are born relatively under-developed compared to other mammals. They latch on to their mothers’ abdomens where they stay for the next eight weeks, so scientists can keep an eye on their development without having to perform invasive procedures or by using complex imaging techniques.

These opossums were filmed in The Francis Crick Institute in the UK.

You can learn more about research using opossums here: www.crick.ac.uk/news/2020-03-03_how-do-we-use-opossums-in-research and here www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk/what-is-animal-research/a-z-animals/opossum.

Last edited: 10 April 2024 11:31

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