Marsupials in the evolution lived mostly on the southern continents: South America (where, apparently, there was this group of animals), Australia and Antarctica. In the north of marsupials generally do not survive: they ousted placenta. Yet among the few migrants from South America to North America (as at the end of the Cenozoic ocean rose from the Isthmus of Panama) was the opossum (Didelphis marsupialis), successfully survive the harsh winters of Holocene epoch.
Due to its unpretentiousness and high adaptability of this species of marsupials have learned to co-exist side by side with a man, received from it a great advantage over other types of North American mammals. And after the extinction of mankind opossums and their descendants have occupied a significant place in the ecosystems of North America. One of the descendants of the opossum has adapted to life in the Ice Age, and then retreated to the north, in Greenland. He had forgotten how to climb trees, but has become more cold resistance, big and strong. So, a new marsupial animal - the greenland geopossum.
By way of life geopossum - versatile beast. It is the lack of deep specialization allows it to survive among the many "specialists" that live in the neighborhood. Geopossum looks very similar to a conventional possum, but has some differences. He has a short muzzle and very strong jaws: carrion is a large part of the animal's diet. Unable to catch the big game, geopossum willing to eat up his body, even to some extent decomposed and clean obglozhet cartilage. In case geopossum picks up a dead fish ravages nests of birds and terrestrial preys on small animals. From plant food he willingly eat berries, roots and mushrooms. His immunity to poison mushrooms quite large: some species of mushrooms, lethal even for large mammals, this animal even takes pleasure, falling into a state similar to drunkenness.
Geopossum - very bad runner: he plantigrade, and his short legs armed with long claws. But it can be a good idea to swim: these animals can be found on the neighboring islands of Greenland, where they get to swim or go on the ice in winter. Tail useless when terrestrial life, become his very short and covered with dense hair. Also we shortened the ears, which is only slightly protrude from the wool. Ears geopossuma pretty "insulate": outside they were covered with thick hair.
The summer fur geopossuma short. It is gray with blurred horizontal stripes on the back. At the head of hair is lighter, and the eye has a dark stain. Winter coat becomes long, thick and lighter: the strip on the back disappear, and stains around the eyes "fade."
Geopossum has no permanent shelter and not tied to a specific territory or what time of year. Therefore, to relatives, this species is only as a kind of an annoying obstacle, which can not be considered (of course, outside the breeding season, which happens in late autumn or early winter). It does not hibernate, although the frost becomes less active and tries to build a temporary shelter where waiting for better weather. In the winter in search of food geopossum often accompanies large herbivorous animal and feeds on their excavations. Hungry Beast eat even leaves and last year's grass.
In the breeding season and the birth of cubs takes about one month: the female body can "put on the preservation of" developing embryos before the auspicious time. Cubs are born in the second half of winter. Before this event, the female makes a temporary shelter, where a ball rolled and produces several underdeveloped cubs. The female only 4 of the nipple - is less than that of an ancestor, but the bag is much better developed and covered with thick fur on the outside. This arrangement allows guaranteed to grow a normal offspring, which has a better chance to survive. A female is born geopossuma to 10 pups at a time, and, like all marsupials cubs, they need to get yourself into the bag and take the nipple. When the female feels that all the nipples are busy, she leaves the refuge, leaving some of the offspring die from the cold. The remaining cubs grow bag and leave the bag in the spring, moving to the back of the female. By the end of the spring, they can leave the mother for a while, but in the beginning of summer become independent. For the second autumn animals become adults and are free to produce offspring.