Opossums Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

What kind of animal is an opossum? Where do they live, and what do they eat? What are their life cycles like? This lesson will teach you lots of facts about opossums!

Marvelous Marsupials

Opossums are a special kind of animal called a marsupial. Marsupials are animals that carry their babies in a pouch! Famous marsupials are animals like koalas and kangaroos. Opossums are the only marsupials that live in North America.

You have probably seen an opossum out and about before. They look like big rats!

Opossums can be white, brown, or gray.
opossum

They have long, skinny tails with no fur and pointed noses and are about two-and-a-half feet long from the tip of their noses to the end of their tails. Their tails can be used as a fifth hand and helps opossums hold on to branches and climb. They can have white, brown, or gray fur, and weigh about 13 pounds. That's about as much as a cat!

Opossum Habitats

Have you ever wondered where opossums live? Opossums can live in grassy areas and in forests, so that's why you might see them around your neighborhood or in the road. They also can live in hollow rocks or logs.

But be on the lookout for them at night! Opossums are nocturnal, which means that they sleep during the day and are out and about during the nighttime!

Opossum Diets

Opossums are omnivores. This means that they eat both plants and animals. What kind of animals do they eat? Small animals like snails, rodents and insects. They also like to munch on berries that they find in the forest.

This opossum is eating grapes!
opossum

They also like to eat garbage and dead animals that they find on the ground - gross! They are great climbers and climb trees to search for their food. Opossums have a cute way of eating: they hold their food with their front paws, just like a squirrel or a chipmunk! They also have 50 teeth that they use to chomp on their food!

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