Opossum

Opossum
Opossum
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Opossum are opportunistic eaters not originally found in Michigan

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The Opossum is the only marsupial found in North America

In the United States, it is typically referred to simply as a possum. It is a solitary and nocturnal animal about the size of a domestic cat. Opossums are a successful opportunist in terms of food and shelter. Opossums are omnivores who seek out bug, insects, eggs, plants and fruits. They will also raid animal feed stores, garbage, gardens, and even venture into your home in search of food. Opossums are skilled climbers but cannot run very fast, so they often resort to "playing possum" (playing dead) if they feel they cannot out run what is threatening them. Opossums will also stand their ground and fight, and for this reason they can be very dangerous.

Opossum form Mt Pleasant MI

Opossum expanding territory north

Opossums will have litters of young as early as December and have 2 to 3 litters per year with an average around 8 to 9 joeys per litter. Opossums are not native to North American but were introduced in the 1920s. Since then they have been expanding their territory and are seen as far north as Toronto. Opossums do not handle cold weather very well as frost bite is frequently reported among Opossums in colder areas. It is for this reason that during the winter Opossums seek shelter in and under barns and outbuildings.

Opossum getting into bird feeders in Gladwin MI

Species of Opossum found in Michigan

North American Opossum

Virginia Opossum

Also known as the North American Opossum is grey with white on the face and darkening on the ears, hands and feet. Opossums have a hairless, tail and lower fingers.