Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.
What Are Possums?
You've heard that possums like to play dead, and your mom calls it 'playing possum' when you just lay there without moving. Is this really what possums are like? Do possums really like to play dead? Keep reading to learn lots of interesting facts about possums.
A possum is a type of animal called a marsupial. A marsupial is an animal that carries its babies in a pouch! Possums are sometimes called opossums. They have long tails and pointy noses. They have fur that can be brown, white, or gray, and they can weigh up to 13 pounds, which is about the size of a cat.
There are 60 different kinds of possums. The most well-known possum is the Virginia possum.
Where Do Possums Live?
Possums live in North America and South America in grasslands and forests. They live in dens during the day. A den is like a cave or a burrow that can be a home for a wild animal. Possums are nocturnal, which means they sleep during the day and are awake at night.
What Do Possums Eat?
Possums search for food at night when they are awake. Possums are scavengers, which means that they look for food that people or animals have left behind. They like to eat garbage out of people's trash cans! Possums also eat berries, bugs, and small animals. Because they eat both plants and animals, possums are omnivores. They use their front paws to hold their food.
How Do Possums Grow?
Baby possums are born in the spring in groups of up to 20 babies! The babies are very small, about the size of a honeybee. They go straight into the mother's pouch, where the mother possum carries them for up to three months. As they grow, the babies can start to go in and out of the pouch. They sometimes ride on their mother's back while she hunts for food! After they come out of the pouch for good, young possums follow their mothers around to figure out how to search for food.
Fun Facts about Possums
- Possums do play dead when they are scared! They particularly are scared of dogs, foxes, or bobcats, so they play dead to protect themselves.
- Possums are the only marsupials that can be found in the United States and Canada.
- Possums are good climbers, so they can move around in trees as they search for food.
Possums are marsupials, which means that they have pouches to hold their babies. Possums live in dens in North and South America. They are nocturnal, which means that they sleep during the day and stay awake at night.
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