Interesting Facts About The Virginia Opossum
In the animal kingdom, one of the most interesting kinds of animals are the marsupials. By definition, marsupials are mammals which give birth to their young at a very tender age. Such early birth usually means that the young usually do not have much time to develop, so they may need to be protected a lot when they are born. One of the ways of doing this is by inhabiting a pouch in their parents, as happens when a kangaroo gives birth. The marsupials are commonly found in areas such as Australia and New Guinea, and are relatively rare in other parts of the world.
For instance, in North America, the only marsupial that is native to the land is the Virginia Opossum. This is a mammal which has a number of characteristics that make it very interesting to most people. The Virginia Opossum is usually around the size of an average house cat, and normally has greyish fur. It is a nocturnal animal, which means that if you need to spot one you would need to pay more attention during the night when it comes out to forage for food and also to mate. Unlike most other kinds of animals, the Virginia Opossum is solitary; you are unlikely to spot one in the company of another unless they are mating. The Virginia Opossum is very common in North America, and is commonly associated with rummaging through rubbish when looking for food. Due to the fact that it is nocturnal, it is also a victim of many accidents, since most people driving at night may be unable to spot them in time to avoid them.
One of the other interesting things about the Virginia Opossum is how it behaves when in the face of danger. Most other animals usually try to fight for their lives or run away, but the Virginia Opossum usually tries to protect itself by playing dead. However, if the situation is dangerous enough, it has been noted that such animals can become very aggressive, such as by baring their teeth and hissing. Studies have been conducted to find out more about how and why it plays dead when in the face of danger. It has been found that this is normally not a voluntary act. It usually does this when it is afraid. Other studies have also shown that under the right conditions, one can induce the Virginia Opossum to play dead, and in some cases it can even go into a state of near coma for a few hours.
These possums are omnivorous; they eat all kinds of animals, fruits, insects and plants. In addition to that, it has been shown that they are also prone to participating in cannibalism, though this is something that has only been observed in possums that are in captivity. This is why it is usually not advisable to put injured and healthy possums in one enclosure, as they may end up killing and eating the injured one. When all is said and done, the possum is one of the most interesting animals you can come across, since it has many unique characteristics.
Other Opossum Information & Facts
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Opossum mating habits
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Removing a dead opossum
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