ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 94 Number 3
Research Notes
Didelphis species, Neo-tropical animals with the potential for intensive production: Part 2: Review of reproductive systems
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This review focuses on the information that is available on the reproductive biology of Didelphis. From the findings of over 60 scientific documents - beginning as early as 1704- it was found that opossums possess some very exclusive reproductive adaptations, including: short gestation period, paired spermatozoa and a temporary pseudo-vaginal canal. These findings, however, were based on investigation on one or two species of the genus only. An overall picture of the reproductive biology and any adaptations or differences between the six species in the genus was therefore not possible. In conclusion, many gaps remain and novel theories on the topic have yet to be proposed on tropical and neo-tropical opossum species. Therefore, further study into the reproductive biology of South American and Caribbean species is highly recommended. This will allow for a clearer understanding of the reproductive biology of this marsupial, which can be a guide in the development of an intensive animal production system in the tropics.
Keywords: Didelphis; opossum; Didelphis marsupialis; D. virginiana; marsupial; reproduction; anatomy; breeding reproductive biology; review Livestock