Opossums and their fascinating curiosities

Recently, a video of an opossum went viral on the internet because it played its role of “playing dead” very well for several minutes. It is a performance that opossums often perform when they feel threatened.


Getting to know possums better

Opossums are unique animals that arouse great interest and curiosity. Their appearance is that of a large rat, although they are not related to them in any way. Their habits are nocturnal and their characteristics make them truly fascinating.

Although marsupials are more common in Australia, possums are the only marsupials on the American continent, of which there are nearly one hundred varieties. Their ability to adapt to various climates and conditions makes them an evolutionary success found from Canada to Argentina.

One of the most surprising abilities of opossums is their ability to “play dead.” This behavior, known as thanatosis, helps them escape from predators. When they feel threatened, they lie down, close their eyes and remain motionless for a long time, pretending to be dead.

Features that make them so special
  • Its mouth opens more than 80 degrees.
  • Much of his time is spent cleaning. He washes her face and his coat using his front paws as hands.
  • They don’t have ticks. If they spot one while grooming, they eat it. Therefore, they do not transmit any of the diseases that ticks transmit.
  • They have remarkable resistance to snake venom. This ability protects them from bites from venomous species such as vipers and rattlesnakes. In addition, they have a very robust immune system that allows them to resist various diseases.
She’s not that pretty but she’s very nice

The diet of opossums is very varied and omnivorous. They feed on fruits, insects, small vertebrates and even garbage. This flexible diet makes them very adaptable to different environments and allows them to survive in urban and rural areas.

They have a prehensile tail that they use to grab and transport materials. This tail also helps them balance while climbing trees. The ability to use its tail as a “fifth limb” is a unique feature in these marsupials.

They have a keen sense of smell and hearing, which helps them find food in the dark. Their long whiskers also allow them to navigate and detect objects in their environment, improving their ability to survive.

The life cycle of opossums is quite short, usually between 2 and 4 years in the wild. However, they are extremely prolific and can have up to 20 offspring per litter, ensuring the continuity of the species. A custom of these animals is to carry all their young on their back.

Ecological Benefits

They demonstrate a great ability to adapt to urban environments. They take advantage of green spaces and human waste to find food and shelter and integrate into city life.

They play an important role in the ecosystem by controlling the population of insects and small rodents. Additionally, they help disperse seeds through their feces, contributing to the growth of plants and trees. Its presence in gardens and residential areas can be beneficial in keeping these unwanted invaders at bay.

They are extraordinary creatures with a series of characteristics that make them very interesting. They are part of the natural balance of nature.

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