Marsupial or rodent?

They are light gray in color and look like gigantic rats, but they are not rodents. You know that they are? If you answered opossum, you are correct!

The common opossum is a marsupial native to America. It is closely related to the kangaroo and the koala. But their unattractive appearance, sharp teeth and eyes that reflect red in the dark, do not make them as popular as other marsupials.

Opossums have five toes on each foot and a prehensile tail that they twist around branches to climb and sometimes hang from trees.

When it comes to eating, the opossum is not picky. Like the raccoon, it eats everything. From plants, fruits and nuts to insects, frogs and lizards. They will even eat garbage and carrion!

Opossums like to change places. They usually live in hollow logs, between rocks, pipes, attics, and under buildings.

Fun facts

  • When frightened, opossums freeze. They can lie this way for hours.
  • Opossums are nocturnal animals. During the day, they hide in hollow logs or burrows.
  • Opossums can have up to 25 young at a time. These are the size of a bee. Only half of the babies manage to get into their mother’s pouch, where they continue to develop for two months. Then, they climb on their mother’s back for another month.