Whether fair or not, Virginia Opossums are often characterized by a long face, that many people consider to resemble a big, ugly “grin. Fun Facts The Virginia (or common) opossum is the only North American marsupial. They're Not Aggressive I was afraid they were taking the cat food away from the cats but no the cats just keep eating. She had a trapper come get two Connie’s and a possum that’s been around couple years, I’m sure it was about three. They also do not carry or transmit diseases to humans, which makes it safer to be near them. However, their most famous defense mechanism is “playing ‘possum,” similar to playing dead. Learn everything you need to know about opossum facts, behavior and habitat. But instead of wandering around on their own, they’ll often hitch a ride, clinging to their mother’s back as she scavenges (see video below). The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the single species found in the United States, but at least 103 species occur in the Western Hemisphere.The word "opossum" comes from the Powhatan or Algonquian name for the animal, which roughly translates as "white dog." However, the Center for Disease Control reports that in the United States, the vast majority of recorded rabies cases come from the bite of 4 animals - raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats. Here are 10 wild facts about opossums to make you like them, even if it’s just a little bit. But I leave them be. They were present on the Earth at the same time when dinosaurs lived. Hi Roseann, Oh no! Thanks for sharing this video. Interesting facts about Opossums: They have such a strong immune system that they can handle venomous snakes such as rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. Hmmm… Noah. Not eating yet. Commonly known as "possums", these pests are the only marsupial native to the United States. The female carries and nurses her young in her marsupium until they are about 2 to 3 months old; then they are carried on her back another 1 to 2 months whenever they are away from the den. Captain John Smith, an English explorer, is credited with naming the opossum during his visit to the … Opossums have several defense mechanisms, including growling, belching, and urinating when threatened. Opossum Facts for Kids. They’re also largely immune to venom from snakes like cottonmouths and rattlesnakes. 13 Facts About Opossums 1. Now I know that birdseed is something they will eat up off the ground…. These marsupials have an elongated snout, and a large sagittal crest – a bone making their forehead look taller. Opossums are adorable wild creatures found in North and South America. 3. However, they do have a few distinctive calls. Opossum peptide that can neutralize rattlesnake venom is expressed in Escherichia coli, 50 Wonderful Spiderman Coloring Pages Your Toddler Will Love. https://www.facebook.com/TheFarmersAlmanac/. In North America, opossum and possum describe the same thing, but in... 2. Is it a sign that a possum is sick if it runs around during the day this is a story I’ve heard. Easter: Why Is It a Different Date Each Year? The opossum is a marsupial that can be found in the United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America.Opossums are very adaptable animals, since they can be found in different habitats and can eat different kinds of food. To prevent motion sickness, suck on some ginger candy while traveling. This information is for educational purposes only and not a substitute for professional health services. https://www.farmersalmanac.com/author/amber-kanuckel. Thank you for running the rescue and helping animals! Here, MomJunction presents a list of 45 such intriguing facts about opossums, their lives and their habitat. Do they dig up yards? Consider these opossum facts before enticing them to stay: As scavengers, opossums will gladly consume pet food left outdoors. 4. I found an orphaned baby opossum today. I love watching them eat, them groom themselves. Thanks again for the education! If you’ve ever watched an opossum at play, it might have struck you as a somewhat clumsy little critter. Mostly they roll up when you go near them and don’t move. Great picker upper! Description of the Opossum Most opossums are around the size of a housecat. I am thrilled to have them around my yard. Is It Safe To Eat Pineapple During Pregnancy? 1. They’re not the cutest, in fact, some go as far as calling them ugly. However, there may still be cases, although few, when humans cause harm to the animal for no reason or run over it with their vehicles in urban areas. Live and let die. In fact, opossums love trees so much that they often nest in tree hollows. They are also eight times as likely to carry rabies as domestic dogs, but, incredibly, only 1 in 800 is affected by the disease. If you thought their gestation period was short, well so is their childhood! They will flop down and be very still with their tongue hanging out to trick predators. Opossums are so often misunderstood but they are great creatures to have around. Opossums Are Incredibly Agile THEY’RE THE ONLY MARSUPIALS FOUND NORTH OF MEXICO. She is almost 3 months old now and is an absolute sweetheart. They present a far less health risk than do dogs or cats. Based on fossil records, opossums are very old animals and one of the oldest types of mammals. Facts about possums often include claims that they are disease-carrying dangerous creatures. However, opossums are world-class tree climbers, with sharp claws, opposable thumbs on their hind feet, and a prehensile tail that helps them scale trunks and hang onto branches. And when an opossum is threatened, it may hiss or growl. 6. Cats pay no attention to them. But what’s more interesting is that it often ‘plays dead,’ sometimes for hours, to thwart off an attack (remember Crash and Eddie from the movie Ice Age?). They are fascinating creatures! Her article on woolly worm caterpillar folklore appears in the 2020 Farmers' Almanac. The reality is, opossums are incredibly useful, and typically misunderstood. When in this state, opossums sometimes also bare their teeth, foam at the mouth, and produce foul-smelling fluids from anal glands to mimic sickness. We are glad you enjoyed the story. Males make those same clicking sounds during mating season. Would love to be able to actually pet or hold them. They are also resistant to the botulinum toxin, which causes botulism in many mammals, including humans. Share with us on our Facebook page! However, the mechanism isn’t the opossum pretending. Winter Solstice: When Is It, And What Is It? Copyright ©2020. She specializes in home, garden, environmental and green living topics. The opportunistic critter can eat anything and hisses to defend itself from an attacker. 9 Tips To Tighten Belly Skin After Pregnancy, Without Surgery, 10 Best Pre/Play Schools In Ghaziabad For Your Kid, Top 10 Preschools In Phoenix For Your Little One, 31 Fascinating Facts About Machu Picchu For Kids, Opossums belong to the same group as Kangaroos and Koalas, which have, The most widely recognized opossum species (under genus, The average size of opossums, both males and females, is, Opossums are well-known for their trick of, The animal’s brain automatically sends the body into a comatose state as a, Young opossums are not good at playing dead and hence will mostly, The anal glands (glands close to the anus) of an opossum secrete a, Female opossums are often spotted with their, Opossums that live in captivity can survive on, Opossums often enter human settlements and. Even when confronted with a predator, they will use the infamous "playing … Previously, where we lived in Va Bch, VA….. also had one in backyard. Circle of life, Simba. Does opossums carry fleas.I love opossums they are cute. Most possums are solitary animals, except when raising their young, but ringtail possums tend to live in family groups of three or more. Cute! The Virginia opossum has more teeth than any other North American Mammal - … Opossums Are Incredibly Agile. They are immune to the venom of most snakesfound in their habitat, including rattlesnakes and pit vipers. 5. We can’t make up facts, sorry you didn’t like the real ones! Amber Kanuckel is a freelance writer from rural Ohio who loves all things outdoors. Opossums Make Strange Sounds >> When opossums are attacked, they will “play possum,” pretending that they are dead; they remain still, they do not blink, and their tongue hangs out. Opossums do not usually get aggressive when they encounter humans. Adult opossums reach an overall body length of … See more ideas about opossum, opossum facts, animals wild. The infant opossums crawl to their mother’s pouch, where they will stay for 2—3 three months. In yard, looked to be at least 10 dead baby opossum. Daylight Saving: When Does the Time Change? Their bodies are covered in white or grayish hair. Opossums are voracious eaters that will try anything they find, something you know quite well if you’ve ever found one pawing through your garbage bins. 2. We’d love to see pictures, Rhayge! The Only Known North American Marsupial Fun Facts Due to an opossum's low body temperature and successful immune system, it's very rare for one to carry rabies. According to most websites, they do carry fleas as do all wild animals. These thumbs are on the back feet as well as on the front feet. Opossums dine with the cats and keep the tick population on the farm to nil. Like other marsupials, opossums have thumbs, called an opposable hallux, on their paws. I love possums, and live at the edge of a forest. I feed possums at my property, even was able to pet and bring one in for a spell and then tragically today, one was dead on the road, went to see if it was one I fed and saw something move, one of her babies, eyes still not open, all the others were dead. Opossums don’t actually “play dead”, but under intense fear, they will pass out involuntarily and will … Among all the wildlife visitor to your back yard, opossums are one of the best to have around. Just released a baby squirrel I rehabbed for months so I’m hopeful for this adorable little critter. Opossums killed and ate far more ticks than any other animal, leading scientists to estimate that just one opossum eats, on average, 5,000 ticks in a single season. They are light gray in color and basically look like big rats. OPOSSUMS AND POSSUMS AREN’T THE SAME ANIMAL. Interesting & Fun Facts About Opossums More than 60 different species of opossum live on the earth. Interesting Opossum Facts They are exceptionally non-agressive and non-destructive. I love opossums and think they are adorable. Jenn, we appreciate your big heart, butyou really should call your local wildlife official rather than trying to care for them yourself. Since you brought it up and furnished so many helpful facts, I must sgree (especially after today’s scathing post on our bulletin board) I would rather invite a whole slew of possums into my home than the frizzy hair grey predictor roaming the streets and alleys in and surrounding my beloved neighborhood. They can have fleas and drop flea larvae and eggs in … The size of a house cat, males average about 3 kg (6.6 pounds), females about 2 kg (4.4 pounds). Mother's Day: Facts, Folklore, Recipes, and Ideas, Father's Day: History and Celebration Ideas. Possums can make all sorts of noises, from grunts and growls to clicks, hisses and screeches. They have excellent memories and return night after night to finish up what Fido or kitty leave behind. The only opossum species occurring north of Mexico is the Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), which ranges from lower eastern Canada and Puget Sound southward to Costa Rica; other members of that genus are found in South America.The Virginia opossum may grow to 100 cm (40 inches) in length (including the tail) and is about the size of a house cat. It was love at first sight. Almanac Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved. Other animals are needing their carcasses to live. Its binomial name, Didelphis virginiana, refers to the animal being “two-wombed” and hailing from an area that includ… I have had opposums around for the whole 30 years I have lived at my house. Presents a list of 45 such intriguing facts about opossums: they have excellent memories and night! 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