Dakota Datebook

The Banana Possum

Sunday, May 30, 2004

In the news on this day in 1895 was the following article:

“When George Freeman was taking down a bunch of bananas at his father’s store in Fargo, he noticed a nest tightly fastened to the stock of the bunch. On prying the nest away, he found it to be a banana possum, and now the biggest wonder is how the possum ever survived when the ship was being loaded, as the natives of South America handle bananas pretty roughly.

“In appearance,” the article continued, “the little animal resembles a rat, only that his tail is about a foot long. His head resembles that of a wolf, except in size.”

A search for banana opossums came up blank, but here’s some trivia for you: there are more than 80 types of opossums in the Western Hemisphere; opossums are marsupials – meaning they raise their young in a pouch like a kangaroo; and they’ve been around since the time of the dinosaurs.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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