opossum pal - The Dainty Squid

opossum pal

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Last week I got the opportunity to photograph this very handsome little fellow...
I know opossums aren't generally an animal most people like. Often presumed dirty and mean, I think they're just misunderstood. I really dig opossums. They're super interesting little creatures.

A few neat opossum facts:
◦ Opossums are marsupials, the babies are carried and weaned in their mother's pouch.
◦ They're mostly immune to rabies because of their low body temperature. A wild dog is eight times more likely to have rabies than an opossum.
◦ Virginia Opossums, the kind seen here, are around the size of a domestic cat. This particular little guy was still fairly young and therefore a bit smaller. 
◦ When threatened they'll "play possum", an involuntary act in which it mimics a dead animal.
◦ They only live to be 2-4 years old.
◦ Opossums have an opposable big toe with no claw on their back feet. Check it out in the third photo!
◦ Opossums have semi-prehensile tails that they use to assist them in climbing. A full grown opossum is too heavy to hang from it's tail (like you often see in cartoons) although juveniles may briefly hang.
◦ Opossums have 50 teeth, the most out of all other North American land mammals!

Aren't opossums neat?
xoxo

PS. If you're still not convinced opossums are adorable/the absolute coolest, you need to check out this post from 2010 when I blogged about a whole litter of babies!

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40 thoughts

  1. Cute! x
    http://www.lornaswishingwell.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. This fellow was just hanging out on your porch? Envious! The most critter excitement we get here in Boston is seeing a squirrel :(

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  3. Love these pics, especially his cute little foot! Opossums have a bad stigma for no good reason! I share your deep love for all things nature and am regularly inspired by posts like this. Cheers!

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  4. Absolutely beautiful. I really appreciate your posts that highlight animals, especially those that have a bad name because they are just as magnificent as all the rest. When we tried to rescue a squirrel that was hit by a car, my husband was bit by her. We went to the emergency room, freaking out because we thought he might get rabies. After hours, and a hefty bill, the guy told us that squirrels and opossums don't carry rabies. All that time I thought they did.

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  5. I think they are great animals! I've never understood the whole commotion around them. The same for rats and mouses, i think they are super cute. :)

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  6. Aww, it's nice to actually see one alive! I only ever see them dead on the road. :( I clicked back to your old post of the babies, and they are sooo fricken cute!

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  7. It was just chilling on your porch? That is so cool.

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  8. He's a cutie! Thanks for sharing the facts. I had no idea.

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  9. Was he there to nibble the kitty food?

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  10. I did an internship at a zoo one summer, and they had an opossum in their educational animal collection. Her name was Rosie and she was the biggest sweetheart. On a few occasions, I would carry her around the zoo and let kids pet her. She would sit on your hip like a baby, and snuggle with you.

    Note: Rosie was a rescued critter who was very used to people. I do not recommend try to go around petting random opossums, as that would probably not end well. :)

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  11. Oh, wow, what great photos! He has such a great expression!

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  12. I come from Australia, and we don't have this kind of possum so it is very interesting to see your kind up close and personal! We do have a native marsupial we call a possum but it comes in many shapes and sizes, the main ones being brush tailed and ring tailed possums. They also happen to be a noisy nuisance at night but are super cute!

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  13. Amazing photos and thanks for the facts! He is adorable.

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  14. I saw one a few years ago that was bigger than my dog. Scared the hell out of me because I thought it was someone's dog and went over to it and it was not happy haha. Only one I've ever seen that didn't take off. It just stopped and stared at me. I've rarely ever seen one during the day so great photos!


    best,
    Chrissy of crashbeauty.com

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  15. Hehe these photos make me smile. I hope he is okay, its cold out and his tail looks broken.

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  16. How awesome that you were able to get these pictures, as well as the ones of babies a few years ago. :)

    This past Sunday a woman here in Anchorage got footage of a lynx that happened to go into her backyard. It's awesome! Sighting those is more rare, as opposed to moose, which I see at least once a week wandering around.

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  17. Whoa I love all the opossum facts - didn't know the one about the rabies! Super cute...in a weird way :]

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  18. Awww, he's such a scrappy little cutie! :') I've always liked opossums. People judge them too harshly. They're just doin' their thing.

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  19. Cute as. Here in Australia we have our "possums" and even though they too are marsupials, they are slightly different to your opossums but just as cute. Didn't realise that they had some many sharp little teeth.

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  20. I think possums are cute, too. They can be a bit grumpy sometimes, but hey, can't we all? I've read that they are one of the most successful life-forms on the planet and have remained virtually unchanged for millions of years.

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  21. Possums are my FAVORITE! I was a docent last year at a small rescue/rehab zoo here in Athens and the highlight of the experience was interacting with the cuties. The way the clung to my gloves and stared me down was amazing...

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  22. Totally SQUEEE worthy!! <3

    www.margotmeanie.com

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  23. Ahh what a cutie!! He does look a little bit grumpy though :D

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  24. It's cute but I really really dont like its tail .. uuugh!

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  25. We don't have them over here...they are so cute. Then again I like all animals ;) Have you seen how amazing the possums' tails are? And this possum has freckles <3

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  26. Aw, he is adorable! I love opossums too; a couple of them in our neighborhood sleep on my porch and hang out with the stray cats.

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  27. I once worked at a Petco and someone left a box outside claiming there were baby squirrels in it...turns out they were two possum babies. One of them didn't make it, but I raised the other one and she was such a sweetie! Her name was Gerdie. I like to imagine their hisses as just unfortunate looking smiles :)

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  28. I think he's adorable! I never knew possums had opposable toes; I always thought that primates were the only critters that could have them (and I studied animal care!) I've never seen one in real life as we don't get them in England, but they are adorable. I think a lot of people are put off by the tail, like with rats and mice, and it's sad that they're given a bad name. Thanks for sharing!

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  29. I still remember your baby opossum pictures, they're so cute! thanks for sharing those facts!-
    Ester @ Drawing Dreaming

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  30. LOVE. Their little hands kind of look like ours!

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  31. Oh! I love opossums! they are SO cute! Just don't really have the attitude to match haha. I have them all in my back yard and all they do is run from me or hiss :P

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  32. It's adorable! How ever did you get it to sit still for that long?

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  33. Are you secretly a Disney Princess? Cause how on earth did you get him/her to stay so still?

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  34. They look so mean! but so cute, at the same time! I wish I could get wild animals to come visit me! You must be a Disney Princess!

    http://sunnyfleurphotos.blogspot.com/

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  35. Wow! How on earth did you keep him from running away? =)

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  36. Cool! They are funny and misunderstood little creatures, aren't they!?
    xox

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  37. Our opossum, Awesome, just passed a few months ago. We sure miss her. She was clever, sweet and enjoyed being scratched in all the same places dogs and cats do. Also, her ears were like rose petals. Thanks for sharing! More people should be kind to these critters.

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