Opossum Facts. The opossum is a fruitful scavenger, as a result of its adaptability and exceptional disease fighting capability.

Regarding the opossum that is 100 on the planet, the most typical and familiar in the usa could be the Virginia opossum. Below, explore details about the Virginia opossum including its practices and just how to determine harm.


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General Opossum Facts

Scientific Name regarding the Virginia Opossum: Didelphis virginiana

Typical Size: 21-36″ long (including end); 4-15 pounds.

Average Lifespan in the great outdoors: 1-2 years

Identifying Features: cat-sized human body; grey fur with a white face; long pointy snout; round dark eyes and hairless ears; four paws; very long, hairless tail spanning over 1/3 of the total human anatomy size.

“Playing Possum”

When threatened or harmed, these pets will “play possum”, mimicking the look and odor of an unwell or dead animal. The lips are drawn right back, teeth are bared, saliva foams across the lips, and a foul-smelling fluid is secreted through the anal glands. {Even though the term “play” This defense mechanism is actually a completely involuntary and automatic physiological response to danger although the word “play” suggests a conscious act.

Many hurt opossums have now been killed by well-meaning individuals who find a animal that is catatonic assume the worst. The most sensible thing to accomplish upon finding an injured or evidently dead opossum will be keep it in a quiet spot with a definite exit course. In moments or hours, the opossum will regain consciousness and escape quietly on a unique.

Opossum Geography

Virginia opossums inhabit Central America in addition to eastern 1 / 2 of the usa, along with areas of the coast that is west where opossums had simply been introduced throughout the Great Depression.

Opossum Habitat

While opossums choose deciduous woodlands with nearby resources of water – like channels or swamps – these are generally exceedingly adaptable and flourish in many different habitats and climates. The essential elements that are important a possum’s house range are food, water and shelter.

Opossums do not build their dens; consequently they often times simply take shelter in abandoned animal burrows, hollow logs, brush piles, woodpiles, attics along with other man-made structures.

Opossum Diet

Opossums are opportunistic omnivores that consume a wide number of animal and plant matter. As they’re primarily scavengers – eating on dead pets and plant matter – in addition they love bugs and sometimes hunt animals that are small chicks and snakes.

A number of opossums’ favorite meals consist of:

Opossum Behavior

Task: Opossums are nocturnal – active mainly in the evening. They are often less active during the winter although they do not hibernate. Opossums are generally solitary pets and live alone when they’re perhaps not breeding.

Reproduction: between your months of January and October, opossums breed and present birth to up to two litters of 4-8 young – or joeys – each. The gestation amount of a possum is mostly about 13 times, and after that time the joeys are created and must instantly claim certainly one of 13 nipples in the mom’s pouch. Joeys remain within the pouch for around 50 times, japanese dating sites after which it time they start to leave the pouch and spending some time on the mom’s straight back. After about 100 times, young opossums split from their moms to locate their particular house ranges.

Defense: When threatened, an opossum will hiss and show its teeth to try and ward a predator off. If this won’t stop the predator from attacking, the opossum shall imagine become dead, dropping to their part, curling up and opening his lips. Some make reference to this as “playing possum”, and this protection apparatus often leads to a predator walking away.

Abilities: Opossums are skilled climbers, compliment of their opposable back thumbs and long tails that are built to put around branches. They are swimmers that are great although they prefer to travel on land.

Identify Opossum Harm

Though opossums are not aggressive in the wild, these are typically opportunistic and resourceful animals that eat whatever they will get and simply take shelter where they see fit – whether or not it really is in the home. You will need to determine signs of opossum harm early.

Fun Facts

Because of an opossum’s lower body heat and effective disease fighting capability, it is rather unusual so that you can carry rabies.

In north areas, opossums usually have uncommonly brief tails – the ends are lost as a result of frostbite.

The Virginia opossum has more teeth than just about any other North United states Mammal – 50, become precise.

The Virginia opossum may be the marsupial that is only inhabits the U.S.

A research carried out by a University of Florida researcher traces the presence of opossums dating back to the extinction of dinosaurs.

Although a lot of throughout united states relate to indigenous opossums as “possums”, the expression “possum” theoretically relates to a classification of marsupials residing in Australia, brand new Guinea and Sulawesi.