By Josie  April 6th, 2023


How Long Do 


Possums are small and sneaky marsupials native to North America.

We're about to determine their lifespan, and the many factors that affect their longevity.

It's Opposum O'clock!

But first, let's get to know the possum (also called opossum.)

They are typically about the size of a house cat.

Appearance of Possums

Their body is covered in fur, they have a pointed snout, and a naked and prehensile tail.

Possums typically live in hollowed out logs, rocky crevices, and in the branches of trees.

Habitat of Possums

They are adept climbers and don’t mind making a home high up in trees.

In North America, they are most common in the southeastern states.

They can be found globally in tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates.

Bet you didn’t know that they are even found on some Caribbean islands!

They’re opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever they can get their paws on.

Diet of Possums

Commonly eaten foods include small mammals, birds, eggs, insects, fruits, vegetables, and fungi.

In the wild, possums only live for 1-2 years.

Possums living in captivity face far less danger, if any, and live for 4 years at most.

How Long Do Possums Live?

– Competition for food and resources – Exposure to harsh weather – Predation by other animals - Vehicle collisions

Factors Decreasing Their Lifespan

- Providing them with a large enclosure with engaging activities.

How To Increase Their Lifespan

- Feeding them a well-rounded diet.

- Avoiding stressful situations e.g loud noises.

Possums are famous for their unique self-defense mechanism -playing dead.

Why Possums Play Dead

This behavior is known as “playing possum,” a form of involuntary, coma-like state of shock.

When a possum plays dead, it will become stiff, close its eyes and mouth, and secrete a foul-smelling liquid from its anus.

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Head to our website for even more in-depth details!

Keep exploring marsupials!

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