Working in a large Animal Shelter, I’d contact with tens of thousands of opossums! Most had been hit by cars, attacked and injured by dogs or caught in traps by taxpayers and picked up by our Animal Control Officers. Thank goodness, a few years back the County stopped accepting trapped wildlife so, people needed to learn to live peacefully with Opossums.
A Lot of People think that Opossums are competitive because Of their enormous mouths and 50 sharp teeth! Actually, Opossums are solitary, gentle and placid animals. They avoid confrontation! Adults are normally quite slow moving and will just open their mouth to demonstrate their teeth and hiss when frightened. They do not initiate aggression. They will retreat whenever possible.
Opossums are actually very beneficial to our neighborhoods. They are omnivores, so they eat both meat, Snake Poop and vegetation. They’re very adaptable and make due with whatever food and water can be found. Just about every single yard has Opossums walking around at nighttime. Trust me, they aren’t a threat for you or your pets.
Adult Opossums are all about the size of a adult cat. They use their thick, prehensile tail to scale and sometimes to take leaves, etc.. Opossums can live in trees but, the adults can’t hang by their tails while they sleep. Opossums will earn a den in any dark, quiet place. They do not put much effort into creating a house.
Marsupial mammal (feminine which has a pouch for carrying her youthful).
The They become adults and start breeding at @ 1 year old. They can have 1 – two litters a year, depending upon the climate. The gestation (time from conception to birth) is only 12 – 14 days. The mother has 13 teats and that is the maximum number of infants she can nurse. Usually, 13 babies won’t make it in the pouch and of those that do, only around 3 to 6 will create it into weaning age. The infants are created undeveloped embryos. After they are born, they scoot to the mothers pouch where they latch onto a teat. Once the babies move on, the teat swells and elongates and they remain there at all times.
The Infants are weaned at 2 to 3 months old and are considered juveniles. Currently they are 6″ to 7″ long. They become independent of the mother when they’re 6 – 12 months old and about 7″ to 10″ long. They become breeding adults whenever they are @ 1 year-old. The adult males are larger than the females.
The real truth about “Playing Possum” is Probably much different than you thought. When Opossums are incredibly frightened, they could enter an involuntary “shock – like” or “fainting state.” They first awaken by wiggling their ears.
When they are unconscious, they usually have an open mouth and also seem to be lifeless.
Opossums Just live 2 – 4 years. They have a good deal of predators! Between individuals, cars, dogs, cats, owls and bigger wildlife, Opossums don’t survive very long.
Thus, the next time you visit you drifting around at night, try to look the other way.
They really aren’t as bad as they seem.