Opossums are scavengers, and they often visit human homes or settlements to raid garbage cans, dumpsters, and other containers. Opossums, sometimes called possum, benefits your garden by ridding it of small insects and pests. Possums are a suborder of 70 tree-living marsupial species native to Australia and the Indonesian islands of New Guinea and Sulawesi. Fun Facts for Kids. Adults are about the size of an average house cat … Possums are generally regarded as pests when folks find them lurking in their yard or near their homes in the middle of the night. 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. [3] Captain John Smith, an English explorer, is credited with naming the opossum during his visit to the New World in 1608. They are natives of the South American region. It can also be found Chile, Argentina, northern Mexico, and south Canada. 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. Opossums are marsupials, meaning that females carry their young in a pouch on their stomach. Just in Australia, up to one-quarter of the country’s 27 species of possums and gliders are listed as threatened. Ten fun facts about Possums. Instead of shooing them away, let them hang around and they’ll clean up ticks, venomous snakes, discarded birdseed, and more. Brushtail Possums are known to be tolerant of many plant toxins and will eat trees that other animals find poisonous. Facts about possums. Nicknamed "forest fairies," the critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum are threatened by timber harvesting and forest fires. They are light gray in color and basically look like big rats. 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. Common brushtail possum. Milk is critical to the babies’ growth, which means that any young that cannot find and latch onto a nipple will perish. When in trees, this animal is able to move very fast, leaping from branch to branch with agility. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/group/possums-gliders.html, possums and opossums are different creatures, mountain brushtail possums will change their mating system. POPULAR POSTS. 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. Scientific Name of the Virginia Opossum: Didelphis virginiana. Some gliders take multiple mates, which is called polygamy, while others are monogamous, and still more are variants in between. 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. 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. Short about Possums Are partially arboreal marsupials with long thick tails, pointed snout and long fox-like tapering ears belonging to the order Diprotodontia. Their bodies are covered in white or grayish hair. 1-5 Opossum Facts 1. The Opossums or possums are the small marsupial mammals that fall under the order Didelphimorphia. Commonly known as "possums", these pests are the only marsupial native to the United States. 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