Photo Credit: Roger Birkhead
Photo Credit: Carrie Threadgill
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Didelphis virginiana
OTHER NAMES: Possum
DESCRIPTION: The opossum is
HABITAT: The opossum lives in a wide-variety of habitats including deciduous forest, open woods and farmland. It tends to prefer wet areas like marshes, swamps and stream and river bottoms. The opossum can be found in most of the
FEEDING HABITS: The opossum is nocturnal and uses its keen sense of smell to locate food. It is omnivorous and eats just about anything, including lots of different plants, fruits, insects, and other small animals. Sometimes it eats garbage and carrion. Because so much carrion is roadkill, opossums are often killed by cars while looking for food on roadways.
Sometimes they will “play possum” and roll over, become stiff, and their breathing will become slow and shallow. This coma-like state can last up to four hours. Some predators will think the opossum is dead and go away.
Opossum Society of the
National Opossum Society www.opossum.org
Novak, M., J.A. Baker, M. E. Obbard and B. Mallock. 1987. Wild Furbearer Management and Conservation in
Author: Dave Nelson, Wildlife Biologist