Our opossums were acquired legally through local rehabilitators or via confiscation and placement by TWRA.
Prefers deciduous woodlands and can be found in a variety of other habitats
Adult opossum are range from 5-12 pounds and 10-16 inches from nose to rump with a tail that could reach 12” inches.
Opossums are highly omnivorous eating small insects, worms, fruit, vegetables, live animals and dead animals among other things. They are the nature’s garbage men.
Wild opossums usually don’t live past their 2ndbirthday and captive opossums can live up to 4 years.
Opossums are North America’s only marsupial giving birth to embryonic young. Opossums can give birth up to 54 babies, but on average only the first 13 who travel to the pouch and latch onto a teat survive. They are weaned and on their own after approximately 4 months of age. They reach sexual maturity between 6-9 months of age and can bare 2 litters in a year.
- When opossums feel threatened, a physiological reaction occurs and the opossums’ appear to have fainted, thus the term “playing dead”. The body temperature can drop 20 degrees and their heart rate can slow to 4-5 beats per minute; a smelly, green liquid oozes from a gland at the base of their tail. This can last from 2 minutes to 2 hours and they wake up and walk off after the danger has passed.
- They are the only animal in North America other than humans that have opposable thumbs on their rear feet which help them climb. Additionally, they are the only animal in North America that has a semi-prehensile tail.
- They have 50 teeth which the most of any land mammal in the world.
- Opossum fossils have been dated back 70 million years, during the time of the dinosaurs!