Opossums are strangely-adorable marsupials, in fact they are the only marsupials native to North America. They are most known for their natural defense of playing dead, which is where the commonly used phrase “playing possum” comes from. While opossums are often seen scavenging for carcass meat near dead animals, they are omnivorous animals and will also eat berries and other fruits and veggies. Opossums are very easily frightened creatures, and don’t normally go out of their way to hunt. They have a long list of predators that they are constantly hiding from. In the wild, opossums will live in heavily wooded areas where there are constant sources for food and water, they will take over the abandoned nests of other animals rather than building their own.
These small animals have also adapted well to living in urban areas, and have been known to thrive in suburban settings. In fact, your garbage can is a perfect food source for them as we throw away a whole variety of foods that they love to eat. While you may have seen an opossum bare his teeth at you when you catch them in your yard, this is really an empty threat. They are not aggressive animals and will not attack you.
It is commonly depicted that opossums can hang from their tails, and while their tails are able to wrap around things, this is not necessarily the case. Opossums are about the size of your average house cat when fully grown, and their tail alone simply would not be able to support that amount of weight. Opossums are also equipped with an opposable thumb-like toe on the back of their hind legs. This makes it extremely easy for the opossum to climb up many different types of materials. While they have adapted to most aspects of today’s society, cars are still one of the top killers of opossums.