Opossums

Facts

Opossums

  • Average litter size 8-18 that develop in the mothers pouch.
  • New born opossum is one half inch in length, hairless pink skinned and blind.
  • They crawl through their mothers’ fur to the pouch where they grow rapidly for 8-9 weeks.
  • Opossum have on average two litters per year.
  • Tennessee’s only marsupial or pouched animal.
  • Highly adaptable and prefer farming areas, woodlands and stream banks.
  • Has a prehensile tail that aids in its ability to climb.
  • When cornered it may fake its death or “play possum”.
  • Usually solitary.

 

Physical Characteristics

  • Average length 25-40 in.
  • Average weight 9-13 lbs.
  • Long coarse grayish white fur and scaly tail.
  • Toes have claws except for the last one on each hind foot.
  • This toe is used like a thumb for grasping.
  • Have fifty teeth.

 

Eating Habits

Opossums eat fruit, nuts, vegetables, meat, eggs, insects and carrion.