Opossum

Virginia Opossum

  • About 2 1/2-3 1/2 lbs or house cat size.
  • Omnivore, dental formula 5-1-3-4/4-1-3-4.
  • Opossums were introduced from eastern US initially to California, then through range expansion or additional introductions are now common in Washington west of the Cascades.
  • Usually nocturnal and solitary, during the day opossums may hide in attics and under porches so you might see one around your house.
  • Climbs easily and uses its prehensile naked tail like an extra hand, especially in trees.
  • The young spend 3 months in a pouch like that of a kangaroo but backward-pointing (both are marsupials).
  • “Playing possum” is a phrase that refers their habit of acting dead when threatened.