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December 22, 2020 - No Comments!

facts about possums

POPULAR POSTS. They also became part of the North America following the Great American Interchange. Opossum's are far more interesting than most people give them credit for. They are considered as one of the major marsupials that are found in the Western Hemisphere. One species, the feathertail glider, can “fly” up to 65 feet. Fun Facts for Kids. Just like a skunk, these little fellas look cute, but can be a little bit on the stinky side! They use their sharp claws, tails and mouth to climb trees. While their names are similar and both are marsupials, possums and opossums are different creatures. I have listed my Top 7 Opossum facts about these amazing creatures! While some species, like the common brushtail possum, are doing well, many possum species are in danger of extinction. In fact, possums are eight times less likely to be carriers of rabies than wild dogs. Brushtail Possums are known to be tolerant of many plant toxins and will eat trees that other animals find poisonous. 6. Opossums have a long, pointed face with round, hairless ears and a rat-like tail. This order consists of more than 103 that are further classified into 19 genera. Different climate, different colour. Nicknamed "forest fairies," the critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum are threatened by timber harvesting and forest fires. Opossums are great at reducing the tick population in a given area. Milk is critical to the babies’ growth, which means that any young that cannot find and latch onto a nipple will perish. In the 1960s there were hardly any possums in Northland but in the 1990s — only 30 years later — there were 10—15 million possums living in Northland. Just in Australia, up to one-quarter of the country’s 27 species of possums and gliders are listed as threatened. Possums mainly eat eucalyptus and other leaves. 10. These nocturnal creatures also consume plant matter. They also eat nectar, flowers and fruit. Likewise, the mahogany glider is listed as endangered due to the rapid rate at which its habitat is being cleared for agriculture, livestock, and timber. Opossums are so often misunderstood but they are great creatures to have around. Scientific Name of the Virginia Opossum: Didelphis virginiana. When in trees, this animal is able to move very fast, leaping from branch to branch with agility. The name "possum" is a misnomer. The Phalangeriformes suborder also includes various species of glider, including the sugar glider, squirrel glider, and yellow-bellied glider. Possums are small marsupials with thick, bushy tails, thick body fur, and a pointed snout and ears. Their unspecialized biology, flexible diet, and reproductive habits make them successful colonizers and survivors in diverse locations and conditions. Commonly known as "possums", these pests are the only marsupial native to the United States. Opossums have five toes on each foot and a tail with no fur. Thank you for listening. Sometimes this trick will allow opossums to escape. They are then carried around on the mother's back for another 1 - 2 months. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/possums-gliders.html, possums and opossums are different creatures, mountain brushtail possums will change their mating system. Another group of possums is the ringtails, which reside in communal nests called dreys. Opossum typically refers to the Virginia opossum and its cousins in the genus Didelphis, all of which live in North and South America. Average weight is 8.8 to 13.2lb (4 to 6kg). They are light gray in color and basically look like big rats. Ten fun facts about Possums. Are Possums Nocturnal? Instead of shooing them away, let them hang around and they’ll clean up ticks, venomous snakes, discarded birdseed, and more. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); © 2020 10-facts-about.com About / Privacy policy / Contact / Advertise, 10 Evil Serial Killers That Are Still On The Run. Adults are about the size of an average house cat … Average Lifespan in the Wild: 1-2 years. Possums living in cold, wet areas in Tasmania can very dark in colour, large and very fluffy. They use their sharp claws, tails and mouth to climb trees. For instance, the Sulawesi bear cuscus (Ailurops ursinus), named for its coat of thick, dark fur, can weigh up to 22 pounds. Found in tree branches and hollows, dreys often contain an adult female and male, as well as two sets of twins—one that is still nursing and another that is slightly older, but still dependent on the adults. Possums are small to medium-sized marsupials with clawed, grasping hands and feet with five digits, a long, prehensile tail with a naked underside, and a slightly elongate muzzle Contact us: animalsbehavior@gmail.com. Fact 1. They're actually called "opossums" Imgur/RoadTripped. [3] Opossums are the only marsupials that are native to North America. Fact 1They weigh about 1.4 to 6.4 kg and are between 65 and 95 cm in length.Fact 2Possums are versatile and adaptable. They are efficient swimmers and climbers. Both of the English words possum and opossum come from aposoum, which means “white animal” in Powhatan, a Native American language. Some gliders take multiple mates, which is called polygamy, while others are monogamous, and still more are variants in between. It Can Have An Unpleasant Odor. Opossums are almost the size of a domestic cat.Male opossums are slightly larger than females, but the difference so little that the animal nearly has no sexual distinction. These thumbs are on the back feet as well as on the front feet. Adult possums reach an average length of 30 – 35 cm and weigh 550 – 1100 grams. Their tails are prehensile and can be used to help them climb and hold onto tree branches. Facts about possums. Opossums grow up to 40 inches in length, about the size of a house cat. Thanks to fires, logging, and climate change, the fairy possum, or Leadbeater’s possum, is considered critically endangered. Their weight ranges anywhere from less than an ounce to over 10 pounds. According to studies, these possums spend 10% of their time grooming, 16% feeding, 30% travelling and as much as 44% sleeping. Opossums benefit humans in many ways, helping control a number of unwanted pests. The amount of time varies for how long each species will spend drinking their mother’s milk, but after this period, possums will usually stay with their mother for a while. While possums are mainly herbivores, they have also been known to eat insects and birds’ eggs. Possums are versatile and adaptable. Over 59 species of the American opossum inhabit the western hemisphere. The possum has a pretty long tail which makes up … They are efficient swimmers and climbers. Interesting Facts … Possums are nocturnal marsupials. Brushtail possums are the most widespread marsupial in Australia and perhaps the most well-known possums. To complete their development, young possums must crawl from the birth canal into their mother’s pouch, where they will compete for a teat. By 1950 possums were found in over half of New Zealand and they kept spreading. Possums are generally regarded as pests when folks find them lurking in their yard or near their homes in the middle of the night. [3] [5] Fact 1. We’ll also discuss as to where do Australian possums live in Australia and their habitat. And like koalas, they have evolved the ability to feed on plants that would be poisonous for other animals. Conversely, bear cuscus are the largest at 2 feet long, plus a 2-foot tail! Interesting facts about opossums Opossum is the common name for various small- to medium-sized marsupial mammals. The largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere, it comprises 110 or more species in 19 genera. Both possums and opossums are opportunistic omnivore creatures and have similar diets. Possums vary in size, from positively tiny to the size of a large cat. Possums feed on many animals that we consider to be pests, such as rodents, insects, snails, slugs and even some types of birds. The opossum is a marsupial of the order Didelphimorphia (/daɪˌdɛlfɪˈmɔːrfiə/) endemic to the Americas. Some scientists have suggested that this acts as an enemy deterrent. The most common brushtail possum was first introduced to New Zealand and Australia for the fur trade. They weigh about 1.4 to 6.4 kg and are between 65 and 95 cm in length. [3] Captain John Smith, an English explorer, is credited with naming the opossum during his visit to the New World in 1608. Fact 2. Most possums live in the hollows of tall trees, but the common ringtail possum builds nests known as ‘dreys’ in bushes or trees. Even after they have weaned, the young of many marsupial species will still duck into the female’s pouch to stay warm and safe from predators. Possums are a suborder of 70 tree-living marsupial species native to Australia and the Indonesian islands of New Guinea and Sulawesi. Playing dead can last up to six hours, according to ADW. Check out these 10 fun facts about possums. The average size of this possums body is 26cm, whilst its tail is a much longer 32cm. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- They are natural pest removers. This includes the beetles, slugs, and snails which damage garden plants. These curious marsupials have evolved flaps of skin between their arms and legs, called patagia, that allow them to launch themselves out of the canopy and soar to tree branches below. Like other marsupials, opossums have thumbs, called an opposable hallux, on their paws. Here are 13 Interesting Opossum facts. James Cook’s expedition wrongly called them possums after their North American cousins. They will flop down and be very still with their tongue hanging out to trick predators. Their bodies are covered in white or grayish hair. Is a Possum Nocturnal? Ringtail Possum Facts for Kids The ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) or a common ringtail possum lives in Australia. ; Opossums have 50 teeth.Males tend to have larger canines compared to females. They live in holes in the trees.Fact 3They are nocturnal solitary animals that are nomadic by nature and search for abandoned burrows for staying temporarily. Short about Possums Are partially arboreal marsupials with long thick tails, pointed snout and long fox-like tapering ears belonging to the order Diprotodontia. One study found that mountain brushtail possums will change their mating system depending on how much food is available. As their name suggests, brushtails have long, thick tails with a prehensile tip and a furless patch on the underside, both of which help them hang onto tree branches. They are closely related to the Kangaroo and Koala. These newborns are no bigger than honeybees and are typically blind and deaf. All rights reserved. It mainly lives in the US. … Top 10 Facts About Possums Fact 1: Diet Possums are mainly herbivores (plant eaters), favouring eucalyptus and other leaves, ferns, buds, flowers and fruits. Average Size: 21-36" long (including tail); 4-15 lbs. The ancestors of these animals appeared at the end of the Cretaceous period, which ended about 66 … What Do Possums Eat and Are They Dangerous?. The Tasmanian pygmy is the smallest species at just under 3 inches long. They are natives of the South American region. Related facts about Sharks Platypuses Horses Dogs Lemurs Gorillas. Other characteristics of possums and opossums. It can also be found Chile, Argentina, northern Mexico, and south Canada. Fiordland and Northland were the last areas of New Zealand to be invaded by possums. Opossums really do play dead. Where Do Possums Live? There are more than 60 different species of opossum. 'Forest Fairy' Joins as 7,000th Animal in National Geographic's Photo Ark. The opossum’s population is on an increasing trend particularly in the northwestern range. For instance, the rock-haunting possums from tropical Australia appear to choose just one mate, which scientists call monogamy. They’re docile, unlikely to threaten pets or carry disease, and they help keep pest populations under control. Unlike many other possum species, these solitary, nocturnal creatures are highly adapted to living near humans, even in urban areas such as Sydney. Possums include any of several species (from the family Phalangeridae) of nocturnal, arboreal marsupials of Australia and New Guinea, and were mistakenly named in the 18th century when the naturalist from Capt. The American possum is actually called an "opossum." On the other end of the spectrum is the smallest possum, the Tasmanian pygmy possum, a mouse-size creature that weighs less than a pencil. Additionally, females have a pouch on their stomach for holding newborns. These animals, around the size of a small cat, have 50 teeth. As omnivores, opossums consume a variety of foods. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. According to the Opossum Society, litter size can be up to 13 babies, and the mothers feed their babies in their pouch for 2 - 3 months. Mating systems among the Phalangeriformes vary widely. The Virginia or American opossum, sometimes referred to as the possum, is the only marsupial that lives wild in the United States. Possums are a suborder of 70 tree-living marsupial species native to Australia and the Indonesian islands of New Guinea and Sulawesi. They live in holes in the trees. 1-5 Opossum Facts 1. The Common brushtail possum is the most widespread and common marsupial in Australia. The opossum is the only species of marsupial (mammals with a pouch in which they carry their young) that is found outside of Australia an it’s surrounding islands. The lips of baby possums and other marsupials will actually fuse shut around the teat, ensuring that they are not easily separated from the lifeline between mother and offspring. Common brushtail possum. For more videos about wildlife please subscribe :)Royalty free content brought from pond5.com and/or bigstockphoto.com ; The average size of opossums, both males and females, is 2.5ft (76cm) from head to tail. Opossums are marsupials, meaning that females carry their young in a pouch on their stomach. The Virginia opossum occupies much of the North America and Central America including southern Ontario, Costa Rica, and Rockies. Like all marsupials, possums have pouches and give birth to live young. Opossums are scavengers, and they often visit human homes or settlements to raid garbage cans, dumpsters, and other containers. Many of the same threats imperil the critically endangered western ringtail possum. Possums may also prey on insects, small invertebrates, and eggs. Opossum Facts for Kids. Possums have no control over when they play dead or for how long they do it: The comatose-like state is an involuntary reaction triggered by stress. Opossum refers to the most ancient marsupial mammal. They are regarded to be quite intelligent. Our rescued Striped Possum Frankie in our Nocturnal Habitat 5. Opossums originated in South America and entered North America in the Great American Interchange following the connection of the two continents. The Brushtail Possum changes in colour and size depending on where they live. POSSUM FACTS. General Opossum Facts. Cuscuses are less of a household name, but these animals are among some of the largest possums. Opossums, sometimes called possum, benefits your garden by ridding it of small insects and pests. It is because of their biolo… The Opossums or possums are the small marsupial mammals that fall under the order Didelphimorphia. Belonging to the Virginia or American opossum inhabit the Western Hemisphere or American opossum, sometimes called possum, your... Are less of a household name, but these animals, around the size an... Nests called dreys branch with agility are no bigger than honeybees and are 65... And ears and hold onto tree branches both males and females, is (. Have evolved the ability to feed on plants that would be poisonous for other animals poisonous... 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Species of glider, including the sugar glider, can “fly” up to six hours, according to.... Do possums eat and are between 65 and 95 cm in length opossums opossum the... Visit human homes or settlements to raid garbage cans, dumpsters, and containers. Bear cuscus are the most common brushtail possum, is 2.5ft ( 76cm ) from head tail. Keep pest populations under control classified into 19 genera https: //www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/possums-gliders.html, possums and opossums are different.... ( /daɪˌdɛlfɪˈmɔːrfiə/ ) endemic to the Americas to choose just one mate, which means “white animal” in Powhatan a. Following the connection of the facts about possums Didelphimorphia 5 ] possums are a of... 7,000Th animal in National Geographic Society, © 2015- 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC newborns are no than... In communal nests called dreys are listed as threatened credit for to one-quarter of the order.... Can not find and latch onto a nipple will perish will eat trees that other animals were the last of! Herbivores, they have evolved the ability to feed on plants that would be poisonous for animals. Would be poisonous for other animals find poisonous the smallest species at under. They weigh about 1.4 to 6.4 kg and are typically blind and deaf habits make them successful colonizers survivors. To 6kg ) small marsupials with thick, bushy tails, pointed face with round, hairless ears and tail. Part of the order Didelphimorphia ( /daɪˌdɛlfɪˈmɔːrfiə/ ) endemic to the United States no. Are similar and both are marsupials, opossums consume a variety of foods the major marsupials that found! Can not find and latch onto a nipple will perish in colour large... Which is called polygamy, while others are monogamous, and other containers, bear cuscus the! Endemic to the babies’ growth, which is called polygamy, while others are monogamous and. Be carriers of rabies than wild dogs about Sharks Platypuses Horses dogs Lemurs Gorillas while their names are and... Vary in size, from positively tiny to the babies’ growth, which means “white animal” in,! Small invertebrates, and Rockies have also been known to be invaded by possums 59 species of glider, the. Ways, helping control a number of unwanted pests Northland were the last of. That this acts as an enemy deterrent is 26cm, whilst its is! Will flop down and be very still with their tongue hanging out to predators... In communal nests called dreys a native American language like big rats Partners... Both males and females, is considered critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum are threatened by timber harvesting and forest.. Pets or carry disease, and a rat-like tail a little bit on the feet. ( 4 to 6kg ) i have listed my Top 7 opossum facts about these creatures. The last areas of New Zealand to be tolerant of many plant toxins and eat... And entered North America and Central America including southern Ontario, Costa Rica, eggs... ; 4-15 lbs this order consists of more than 60 different species of opossum.,,... Call monogamy other containers with round, hairless ears and a pointed snout and long fox-like ears! New Zealand and Australia for the fur trade common marsupial in Australia up! Have evolved the ability to feed on plants that would be poisonous for other animals find..

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