This order consists of more than 103 that are further classified into 19 genera. Adult possums reach an average length of 30 – 35 cm and weigh 550 – 1100 grams. Fact 2. Likewise, the mahogany glider is listed as endangered due to the rapid rate at which its habitat is being cleared for agriculture, livestock, and timber. As their name suggests, brushtails have long, thick tails with a prehensile tip and a furless patch on the underside, both of which help them hang onto tree branches. They are regarded to be quite intelligent. ; Opossums have 50 teeth.Males tend to have larger canines compared to females. For more videos about wildlife please subscribe :)Royalty free content brought from pond5.com and/or bigstockphoto.com The amount of time varies for how long each species will spend drinking their motherâs milk, but after this period, possums will usually stay with their mother for a while. Nicknamed "forest fairies," the critically endangered Leadbeaterâs possum are threatened by timber harvesting and forest fires. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. They are efficient swimmers and climbers. Even after they have weaned, the young of many marsupial species will still duck into the femaleâs pouch to stay warm and safe from predators. Opossums grow up to 40 inches in length, about the size of a house cat. For instance, the Sulawesi bear cuscus (Ailurops ursinus), named for its coat of thick, dark fur, can weigh up to 22 pounds. Average Lifespan in the Wild: 1-2 years. Thank you for listening. Some scientists have suggested that this acts as an enemy deterrent. They're actually called "opossums" Imgur/RoadTripped. They weigh about 1.4 to 6.4 kg and are between 65 and 95 cm in length. They use their sharp claws, tails and mouth to climb trees. And like koalas, they have evolved the ability to feed on plants that would be poisonous for other animals. Playing dead can last up to six hours, according to ADW. Their unspecialized biology, flexible diet, and reproductive habits make them successful colonizers and survivors in diverse locations and conditions. The Virginia opossum occupies much of the North America and Central America including southern Ontario, Costa Rica, and Rockies. Fiordland and Northland were the last areas of New Zealand to be invaded by possums. They are efficient swimmers and climbers. Average weight is 8.8 to 13.2lb (4 to 6kg). Commonly known as "possums", these pests are the only marsupial native to the United States. Found in tree branches and hollows, dreys often contain an adult female and male, as well as two sets of twinsâone that is still nursing and another that is slightly older, but still dependent on the adults. They live in holes in the trees.Fact 3They are nocturnal solitary animals that are nomadic by nature and search for abandoned burrows for staying temporarily. 1-5 Opossum Facts 1. Fact 1They weigh about 1.4 to 6.4 kg and are between 65 and 95 cm in length.Fact 2Possums are versatile and adaptable. These newborns are no bigger than honeybees and are typically blind and deaf. James Cook’s expedition wrongly called them possums after their North American cousins. They live in holes in the trees. There are more than 60 different species of opossum. Fact 1.  Captain John Smith, an English explorer, is credited with naming the opossum during his visit to the New World in 1608. It Can Have An Unpleasant Odor. The American possum is actually called an "opossum." They are then carried around on the mother's back for another 1 - 2 months. The possum has a pretty long tail which makes up … Their bodies are covered in white or grayish hair. Our rescued Striped Possum Frankie in our Nocturnal Habitat 5. Possums include any of several species (from the family Phalangeridae) of nocturnal, arboreal marsupials of Australia and New Guinea, and were mistakenly named in the 18th century when the naturalist from Capt. 'Forest Fairy' Joins as 7,000th Animal in National Geographic's Photo Ark. These nocturnal creatures also consume plant matter. … Different climate, different colour. Possums are generally regarded as pests when folks find them lurking in their yard or near their homes in the middle of the night. This includes the beetles, slugs, and snails which damage garden plants. They are closely related to the Kangaroo and Koala.   The average size of this possums body is 26cm, whilst its tail is a much longer 32cm. Scientific Name of the Virginia Opossum: Didelphis virginiana. They’re docile, unlikely to threaten pets or carry disease, and they help keep pest populations under control. POSSUM FACTS. While possums are mainly herbivores, they have also been known to eat insects and birds’ eggs. Are Possums Nocturnal? Other characteristics of possums and opossums. Some gliders take multiple mates, which is called polygamy, while others are monogamous, and still more are variants in between. These animals, around the size of a small cat, have 50 teeth. One study found that mountain brushtail possums will change their mating system depending on how much food is available. Short about Possums Are partially arboreal marsupials with long thick tails, pointed snout and long fox-like tapering ears belonging to the order Diprotodontia. Like all marsupials, possums have pouches and give birth to live young. I have listed my Top 7 Opossum facts about these amazing creatures! Top 10 Facts About Possums Fact 1: Diet Possums are mainly herbivores (plant eaters), favouring eucalyptus and other leaves, ferns, buds, flowers and fruits. Brushtail Possums are known to be tolerant of many plant toxins and will eat trees that other animals find poisonous. The ancestors of these animals appeared at the end of the Cretaceous period, which ended about 66 … Interesting facts about opossums Opossum is the common name for various small- to medium-sized marsupial mammals. In fact, possums are eight times less likely to be carriers of rabies than wild dogs. Opossum refers to the most ancient marsupial mammal. Opossums benefit humans in many ways, helping control a number of unwanted pests. In the 1960s there were hardly any possums in Northland but in the 1990s — only 30 years later — there were 10—15 million possums living in Northland. Brushtail possums are the most widespread marsupial in Australia and perhaps the most well-known possums. Possums are versatile and adaptable. Where Do Possums Live? Opossums really do play dead. Here are 13 Interesting Opossum facts. By 1950 possums were found in over half of New Zealand and they kept spreading. General Opossum Facts. Possums are small marsupials with thick, bushy tails, thick body fur, and a pointed snout and ears. Possums are a suborder of 70 tree-living marsupial species native to Australia and the Indonesian islands of New Guinea and Sulawesi. Opossums have a long, pointed face with round, hairless ears and a rat-like tail. Ringtail Possum Facts for Kids The ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) or a common ringtail possum lives in Australia. Thanks to fires, logging, and climate change, the fairy possum, or Leadbeaterâs possum, is considered critically endangered. The Opossums or possums are the small marsupial mammals that fall under the order Didelphimorphia. The largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere, it comprises 110 or more species in 19 genera. Interesting Facts … The opossum is the only species of marsupial (mammals with a pouch in which they carry their young) that is found outside of Australia an it’s surrounding islands. It is because of their biolo… Milk is critical to the babiesâ growth, which means that any young that cannot find and latch onto a nipple will perish. Unlike many other possum species, these solitary, nocturnal creatures are highly adapted to living near humans, even in urban areas such as Sydney. Opossum's are far more interesting than most people give them credit for. Both possums and opossums are opportunistic omnivore creatures and have similar diets. The Tasmanian pygmy is the smallest species at just under 3 inches long. According to studies, these possums spend 10% of their time grooming, 16% feeding, 30% travelling and as much as 44% sleeping. Possums have no control over when they play dead or for how long they do it: The comatose-like state is an involuntary reaction triggered by stress. 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