facts about possums

Check out these 10 fun facts about possums. The Opossums or possums are the small marsupial mammals that fall under the order Didelphimorphia. Possums may also prey on insects, small invertebrates, and eggs. Another group of possums is the ringtails, which reside in communal nests called dreys. They are natural pest removers. Over 59 species of the American opossum inhabit the western hemisphere. These thumbs are on the back feet as well as on the front feet. Interesting facts about opossums Opossum is the common name for various small- to medium-sized marsupial mammals. They’re docile, unlikely to threaten pets or carry disease, and they help keep pest populations under control. They weigh about 1.4 to 6.4 kg and are between 65 and 95 cm in length. 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. The Virginia or American opossum, sometimes referred to as the possum, is the only marsupial that lives wild in the United States. 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. And like koalas, they have evolved the ability to feed on plants that would be poisonous for other animals. POSSUM FACTS. Commonly known as "possums", these pests are the only marsupial native to the United States. 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. Adults are about the size of an average house cat … 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. They also eat nectar, flowers and fruit. The average size of this possums body is 26cm, whilst its tail is a much longer 32cm. 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. 6. One study found that mountain brushtail possums will change their mating system depending on how much food is available. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. Conversely, bear cuscus are the largest at 2 feet long, plus a 2-foot tail! Milk is critical to the babies’ growth, which means that any young that cannot find and latch onto a nipple will perish. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/possums-gliders.html, possums and opossums are different creatures, mountain brushtail possums will change their mating system. They are regarded to be quite intelligent. They also became part of the North America following the Great American Interchange. Their tails are prehensile and can be used to help them climb and hold onto tree branches. Opossum typically refers to the Virginia opossum and its cousins in the genus Didelphis, all of which live in North and South America. 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. Different climate, different colour. 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. According to studies, these possums spend 10% of their time grooming, 16% feeding, 30% travelling and as much as 44% sleeping. Opossums are great at reducing the tick population in a given area. For more videos about wildlife please subscribe :)Royalty free content brought from pond5.com and/or bigstockphoto.com Opossums grow up to 40 inches in length, about the size of a house cat. Sometimes this trick will allow opossums to escape. Opossums are scavengers, and they often visit human homes or settlements to raid garbage cans, dumpsters, and other containers. Mating systems among the Phalangeriformes vary widely. Some gliders take multiple mates, which is called polygamy, while others are monogamous, and still more are variants in between. [3] Captain John Smith, an English explorer, is credited with naming the opossum during his visit to the New World in 1608. While their names are similar and both are marsupials, possums and opossums are different creatures. They are closely related to the Kangaroo and Koala. The largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere, it comprises 110 or more species in 19 genera. In fact, possums are eight times less likely to be carriers of rabies than wild dogs. Opossums benefit humans in many ways, helping control a number of unwanted pests. Our rescued Striped Possum Frankie in our Nocturnal Habitat 5. Their weight ranges anywhere from less than an ounce to over 10 pounds. Interesting Facts … Fact 2. Adult possums reach an average length of 30 – 35 cm and weigh 550 – 1100 grams. These nocturnal creatures also consume plant matter. The Common brushtail possum is the most widespread and common marsupial in Australia. Unlike many other possum species, these solitary, nocturnal creatures are highly adapted to living near humans, even in urban areas such as Sydney. Most possums live in the hollows of tall trees, but the common ringtail possum builds nests known as ‘dreys’ in bushes or trees. Possums vary in size, from positively tiny to the size of a large cat. Both of the English words possum and opossum come from aposoum, which means “white animal” in Powhatan, a Native American language. Average weight is 8.8 to 13.2lb (4 to 6kg). One species, the feathertail glider, can “fly” up to 65 feet. This order consists of more than 103 that are further classified into 19 genera. Additionally, females have a pouch on their stomach for holding newborns. For instance, the rock-haunting possums from tropical Australia appear to choose just one mate, which scientists call monogamy. The Tasmanian pygmy is the smallest species at just under 3 inches long. The Brushtail Possum changes in colour and size depending on where they live. Average Lifespan in the Wild: 1-2 years. While possums are mainly herbivores, they have also been known to eat insects and birds’ eggs. Opossum Facts for Kids. While some species, like the common brushtail possum, are doing well, many possum species are in danger of extinction. Thanks to fires, logging, and climate change, the fairy possum, or Leadbeater’s possum, is considered critically endangered. Playing dead can last up to six hours, according to ADW. Here are 13 Interesting Opossum facts. 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. 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. The most common brushtail possum was first introduced to New Zealand and Australia for the fur trade. Fun Facts for Kids. Possums are generally regarded as pests when folks find them lurking in their yard or near their homes in the middle of the night. It Can Have An Unpleasant Odor. I have listed my Top 7 Opossum facts about these amazing creatures! It mainly lives in the US. ; Opossums have 50 teeth.Males tend to have larger canines compared to females. Fact 1. Opossums originated in South America and entered North America in the Great American Interchange following the connection of the two continents. Opossums have a long, pointed face with round, hairless ears and a rat-like tail. Opossums have five toes on each foot and a tail with no fur. The Virginia opossum occupies much of the North America and Central America including southern Ontario, Costa Rica, and Rockies. Brushtail Possums are known to be tolerant of many plant toxins and will eat trees that other animals find poisonous. They use their sharp claws, tails and mouth to climb trees. Ten fun facts about Possums. Brushtail possums are the most widespread marsupial in Australia and perhaps the most well-known possums. It is because of their biolo… Related facts about Sharks Platypuses Horses Dogs Lemurs Gorillas. The possum has a pretty long tail which makes up … Where Do Possums Live? There are more than 60 different species of opossum. Possums are versatile and adaptable. Opossum's are far more interesting than most people give them credit for. Just in Australia, up to one-quarter of the country’s 27 species of possums and gliders are listed as threatened. The ancestors of these animals appeared at the end of the Cretaceous period, which ended about 66 … [3] Opossums are the only marsupials that are native to North America. Possums living in cold, wet areas in Tasmania can very dark in colour, large and very fluffy. To complete their development, young possums must crawl from the birth canal into their mother’s pouch, where they will compete for a teat. 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. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- What Do Possums Eat and Are They Dangerous?. Top 10 Facts About Possums Fact 1: Diet Possums are mainly herbivores (plant eaters), favouring eucalyptus and other leaves, ferns, buds, flowers and fruits. Possums are a suborder of 70 tree-living marsupial species native to Australia and the Indonesian islands of New Guinea and Sulawesi. [3] [5] Their unspecialized biology, flexible diet, and reproductive habits make them successful colonizers and survivors in diverse locations and conditions. All rights reserved. The opossum’s population is on an increasing trend particularly in the northwestern range. 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. 'Forest Fairy' Joins as 7,000th Animal in National Geographic's Photo Ark. Facts about possums. 10. 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. Fact 1. 1-5 Opossum Facts 1. Are Possums Nocturnal? They are natives of the South American region. Possums feed on many animals that we consider to be pests, such as rodents, insects, snails, slugs and even some types of birds. Just like a skunk, these little fellas look cute, but can be a little bit on the stinky side! POPULAR POSTS. They are light gray in color and basically look like big rats. Fiordland and Northland were the last areas of New Zealand to be invaded by possums. Other characteristics of possums and opossums. Possums are small marsupials with thick, bushy tails, thick body fur, and a pointed snout and ears. They will flop down and be very still with their tongue hanging out to trick predators. Instead of shooing them away, let them hang around and they’ll clean up ticks, venomous snakes, discarded birdseed, and more. The name "possum" is a misnomer. 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. 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Fur trade in communal nests called dreys small insects and birds ’ eggs and 95 cm length... Possum was first introduced to New Zealand to be invaded by possums most give... Foot and a rat-like tail and Australia for the fur trade – grams.

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