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1 April 2009 SKELETAL LESIONS IN A POPULATION OF VIRGINIA OPOSSUMS (DIDELPHIS VIRGINIANA) FROM BALDWIN COUNTY, GEORGIA
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Abstract

Antemortem skeletal lesions were analyzed in 61 Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) collected as roadkill from Baldwin County, Georgia, USA. As evidenced by bridging fracture calluses, misalignments, bone-surface depressions, perforations, localized superficial calluses, periosteal proliferations, and bony bridges across intervertebral disk spaces, 64% of the individuals had signs of one or more healed injuries. Within the subset of skeletons with bone lesions, 54% had healed rib fractures and 23% had scapular, 21% pelvic, 18% fibular, 18% vertebral, 13% dentary, 10% tibial, and 10% podial lesions. Bone lesions occurred most frequently in the cranial portion of the skeletons and averaged approximately four per individual. The majority of the skeletal injuries appeared to be inconsistent with those caused by falls or automobile collisions. The nature and position of the bone lesions suggested that nonfatal predator attacks, possibly from domestic dogs, may be a significant contributor to bodily injury in this species.

Mead and Patterson: SKELETAL LESIONS IN A POPULATION OF VIRGINIA OPOSSUMS (DIDELPHIS VIRGINIANA) FROM BALDWIN COUNTY, GEORGIA
Alfred J. Mead and David B. Patterson "SKELETAL LESIONS IN A POPULATION OF VIRGINIA OPOSSUMS (DIDELPHIS VIRGINIANA) FROM BALDWIN COUNTY, GEORGIA," Journal of Wildlife Diseases 45(2), (1 April 2009). https://doi.org/10.7589/0090-3558-45.2.325
Received: 21 May 2008; Accepted: ; Published: 1 April 2009
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