Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Tuatara: Volume 13, Issue 3, November 1965

“Possum” or “Opossum”

page 192

“Possum” or “Opossum”

In Tuatara 13 (1): 30, G. Caughley advocates the term ‘possum’ to designate Trichosurus vulpecula.

His unsupported contentions that ‘opossum’ refers specifically to Didelphis, and that ‘most zoologists (and all Australian zoologists) …’ use ‘possum’ flatly contradicts my note (Tuatara 12 [3]: 155-6), where these points were discussed, with references cited. In regard to ‘international usage’ it should be noted that G. B. Sharman and E. H. M. Ealey, of Australia, have both reverted to ‘opossum’ for Trichosurus vulpecula in an American publication. (1963, ‘Delayed Implantation’. University of Chicago Press.)

Personal opinions, which I did not and do not give, are scarcely relevant.

R. I. Kean

New Zealand Forest Research Institute