How do you identify an opossum?

Opossum Identification

  1. Color. White or gray.
  2. Legs.
  3. Shape. Long and pointed face with round, hairless ears and rat-like tail.
  4. Size. Up to 40 inches in length, generally about the size of a house cat.
  5. Antennae. No.
  6. Region. Found in eastern, central and west coast regions of the U.S.

Why is the opossum unique in North America?

The opossum has many interesting features. It has 50 teeth, more than any North American land mammal. Its hairless tail is prehensile and is used for grasping branches, balancing and carrying nesting material. The opossum also has opposable thumbs on its hind feet for holding onto branches.

What is the classification of opossums?


How many different types of opossum are there?

There are over 100 different opossum species, ranging in size from the pocket-sized pygmy opossum to the domestic cat-sized Virginia opossum. This Didelphidae family of marsupials is native to the New World; the Virginia opossum Didelphis virginiana is the only marsupial native to North America.

What is the difference between a possum and an opossum?

Both possum and opossum correctly refer to the Virginia opossum frequently seen in North America. In common use, possum is the usual term; in technical or scientific contexts opossum is preferred. Most English speakers who encounter the creature drop the Virginia and refer to it simply as an opossum.

What is a possums favorite food?

Possums like to munch on vegetables and fruits. They like sweet things but should not eat them in excess. They eat almost anything. Fish and apples are attractive to them.

What’s the difference between a possum and an opossum?

Are possums dinosaurs?

Scientists have traced the evolution of the modern opossum back to the extinction of the dinosaurs and found evidence to support North America as the center of origin for all living marsupials.

What is a good name for a possum?

Awesome Possum would be a great name for your new buddy. Pogo was a famous comic book possum for decades. And Crash and Eddie were both prominently featured in Ice Age: The Meltdown. Those would all be great possum name ideas.

Do opossums carry diseases?

Opossums carry diseases such as leptospirosis, tuberculosis, relapsing fever, tularemia, spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, coccidiosis, trichomoniasis, and Chagas disease. They may also be infested with fleas, ticks, mites, and lice. Opossums are hosts for cat and dog fleas, especially in urban environments.

Can a possum be a pet?

Short-tailed opossums have grown in popularity as an exotic pet. They are very good pets for beginners because of their cleanliness, omnivorous diet, and general good health. These opossums are small, generally friendly creatures with easy care requirements, and they certainly are cute!

Are bananas good for possums?

10. Can you feed possums bananas? Possums can eat bananas when they are old enough, but should not be fed too many fruits. Baby possums can eat mashed bananas.

Are possums dangerous to humans or pets?

Opossums become dangerous with their ability to transmit diseases to pets and people. Known to carry leptospirosis, tuberculosis, coccidiosis, spotted fever, tularemia, and other diseases, the pesky creatures pose serious health threats when they invade urban environments.

What are good things about opossums?

Opossums Are Important Allies In the Fight Against Lyme . Like most small and medium sized mammals, Opossums are hosts to ticks. What makes Opossums special is that they are extremely good at finding and killing most ticks that hop on looking for a blood meal.

What do possums eat and are they dangerous?

Possums are known to eat large proportions of eucalyptus leaves , ferns , grasses , fruits , mosses , and herbs . The possum can also eat highly toxic leaves. Unlike koalas, brushtail possums are probably the only arboreal marsupials to feed on different types of plants during their foraging journey.

Can North American possums get rabies?

Opossums don’t really get rabies . Although theoretically any mammal can contract the rabies virus, opossums seem somehow immune to it. It’s not really ever documented in the North American Virginia Opossum (the only possum that lives in the USA).