By JOSIE, JANUARY 4TH 2023
Possum vs. Opossum
Today we will be comparing two species: Possum vs. Opossum – because yes, they are indeed two different species despite being so similar!
Now let's compare them!
Didelphis virginiana is the scientific name for the Virginia opossum
It is derived from the Proto-Algonquian term “apousoum,” which means “white dog or dog-like animal,”
An adult opossum, a marsupial mammal species, is about the size of a house cat.
They are typically between 8.8 and 13.2 pounds in weight and around 2.5 feet long from snout to tail.
Opossums are animals that generally live alone and are nomadic.
When predators threaten these creatures, they pretend to be dead, which is one of their most well-known behavioral traits.
The habitat of this species reaches as far north as Canada and as south as Central America.
Opossums scavenge for food.
They are known for stealing from people; they frequently enter dumpsters, trash cans, and other areas hunting for food.
The possum’s scientific name, Phalangeriformes, refers to the fused fingers on its rear foot.
There is a huge variety, especially in size between types of possums.
The Tasmanian pygmy possum is less than 3 inches long.
The Talaud and Sulawesi weigh up to 22 pounds.
Additionally, they have a prehensile tail that it can use to grasp bush and tree branches.
Only during the breeding season do the nocturnal, solitary brush-tail possums congregate.
These species are generally peaceful, omnivorous creatures who only exhibit violent behavior when disturbed.
The woods of Australia and the nearby islands are home to the possum.
They require a somewhat extensive network of trees to live in for security and food.
They follow an omnivore diet that includes insects, eggs, and various diverse plant materials
The specific nutritional makeup varies based on food availability, thus it is best to think of Possums as opportunistic feeders.
Swipe up to learn even more about these sneaky marsupials!