Hi, I am an Opossum. You will find me in North America, Canada, Australia, or maybe you might see me at a zoo. I am a marsupial and have a pouch that is attached to my body used to nurture my babies, just like kangaroos. Our name was derived from the Powhatan language but most people pronounce our name as possum. You can find me sometimes in backyards, farms or near residential areas.
We are about 20 inches long and weigh about 12 pounds. Some historical records say that we are one of the oldest types of mammals because we lived at the same time when dinosaurs lived. I do have a very long tail which helps me climb but many people think we can hang from our tails especially if you see some cartoons. We have a whitish gray fur, and surprisingly we have 50 teeth, more than many other mammals. We are Omnivores, meaning we love to eat plants and animals. On our dining menu is insects, fruit, amphibians, dead animals, and garbage.
Our main predators are dogs, coyotes, hawks, owls, parasites from disease, and humans building on property that we live on. We are not territorial because we are always on the move in search of finding food and you will see us at night. We love to hunt at night, but we have bad eyesight and sense of hearing but our noses help us to find food. If you see a group of us then we are called a PASSEL. We do have sharp claws to protect us, but what are really good at is playing DEAD! That is where the term playing possum came from.
Animals, and people who think we are dead, will live us alone. We can stay motionless for a few minutes to 6 hours. Males will make a cool sound to attract a female. It takes 14 days for our young babies to be born and they are as small as honeybees. One litter consists of 20 babies if they survive. People love to see our Mammas carrying our babies in our pouch until they are ready to leave and be able to find food, and hunt on their own. Please leave us alone when you do see us. We won’t bother you and we help you by eating so many ticks that are so bad for you. If you happen to see us out in nature, just watch us from a distance and try not to scare us.
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