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8 Fascinating Facts about Opossums | BeCause Tees

Opossums: 8 Fascinating Facts about this Unique Marsupial

Opossums are a unique and interesting species of marsupial that have been around for millions of years. They are found throughout North and South America, and have developed a variety of unique adaptations that have allowed them to thrive in many different environments. Here are 8 fascinating facts about these amazing animals.

Opossum in tree

8 Fascinating Facts about Opossums

1. They're the only marsupial in North America

The Virginia Opossum is the only marsupial found north of Mexico. Not to be confused with possums, found in countries such as Australia and China, possums and opossums are totally different animals.

2. Opossums have a prehensile tail

One of the most distinctive features of opossums is their long, hairless tail that can curl and grip objects like a fifth limb. Their prehensile tail helps them climb trees, balance on branches, and they can even hang upside down from branches to reach food, although only for short periods of time.

Virginia opossum

3. Playing dead is their defense mechanism

When threatened by predators, opossums sometimes use the defense mechanism of playing dead. An involuntary response called "playing possum”, they lie motionless with their eyes closed, their tongue hanging out, and their teeth bared. When playing possum, they also release a foul-smelling odor to help fool predators into thinking they’re dead.

4. Opossums are immune to many types of venom

Opossums have a unique immune system that makes them resistant to the venom of many types of snakes, including pit vipers and rattlesnakes. In fact, opossums are one of the few animals that can eat venomous snakes without being affected.

5. They're great climbers

With their sharp claws and prehensile tail, opossums are excellent climbers. They can climb trees and walls with ease, and can even scale fences and other obstacles.

Opossum on fence 

6. Opossums have a varied diet

Opossums are omnivorous and will eat just about anything they can find, including insects, small animals, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. They’re also known to scavenge for food, and will eat carrion and trash.

7. They help with pest control

Need some free pest control? Opossums are your animal! They eat garden pests such as snails and slugs, plus they eat rotting food which helps to keep other pests at bay.

8. Opossums have a short lifespan

While opossums are known for their ability to adapt to different environments, they have a very short lifespan. Most opossums only live for around one year in the wild.


Opossums are fascinating creatures that have many unique adaptations that have allowed them to thrive in their environments. From their prehensile tails to their immunity to venom, opossums are truly one of a kind. Show off your fascination with these amazing creatures with our Virginia Opossum apparel! We'll make a donation to nonprofits for each order placed and fund the planting of trees so you can feel great about adding to your closet. 

Virginia opossum shirt

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