Opossums Are Florida’s Only Marsupial, Having a Pouch For Carrying Their Young

By  //  July 16, 2016

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often seen in trees and on the tops of fences

Did you know that the opossum is Florida’s only marsupial?

Did you know that the opossum is Florida’s only marsupial and North America’s land mammal with the most teeth? (FWC image photo by Karen Parker)

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission – Did you know that the opossum is Florida’s only marsupial, a mammal having a pouch for carrying the young?

Female opossums have pouches to carry their young (a newborn opossum is only about as long as a honeybee), just like kangaroos.

That’s not all — the opossum is North America’s land mammal with the most teeth, only the dolphin, a marine mammal, has more.

Opossums use all those teeth to eat everything from insects, earthworms and small animals, to many types of fruits and berries, and even carrion (they are part of nature’s clean-up crew).

Opossums have grayish-white fur and are about the size of a house cat. They have long naked tails, small naked ears, and a pointed snout.

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And although opossums may hiss and bare their teeth when threatened, they will often act as if they are dead — “playing possum” — when threatened or grabbed by predators.

To prevent attracting opossums, garbage cans should be secured with rubber straps, and pet food should be taken in at night.

CLICK HERE for more information about opossums in Florida.


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