Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
How long the animal lives for
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Black, Brown, White, Grey|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Forest and farmland close to water|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Fruit, Insects, Frogs|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Fox, Cat, Birds of Prey|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Long prehensile tail and sharp claws|
Map of North America
The opossum is a medium-sized animal that is found inhabiting farmland and forested areas of North America. The opossum is thought to have evolved from the basic marsupials that lived in the jungles of South America.
The opossum is often referred to as a possum, although there is no direct link between the possums of Australia and the opossum of America. The opossum is the only species of marsupial that is found outside of Australia and it's surrounding islands.
The opossum is found inhabiting areas of grassland, farmland and woodland in North America. The opossum is also found in urban areas where the opossum can be a pest as it feeds on rubbish, and food that it finds lying around. The opossum is generally found in areas that are close to water.
The opossum is known to be one of the world's animals that carries rabies and the opossum is much more likely to have the disease than any other animal. Opossums are also thought to have some immunity towards the venom of certain snakes such as pit vipers and rattlesnakes.
The opossum is an omnivorous animal and will eat almost anything that it can find. Opossums mainly feed on insects, frogs, birds, snakes, small mammals, and earthworms. The opossum is also a great scavenger and will feed on leftover kills of other animals along with road-kill.
The opossum has a number of natural predators in its environment although the main predators of the opossum are birds of prey such as owls and eagles, dogs, foxes and cats. Humans are one of the main predators of the opossum as they hunt them for meat but the opossum is also commonly killed on the roads by cars.
As with all marsupials, the female opossum has a pouch in which it rears it's young. The opossum gives birth to as many as 15 babies, which are born in just a couple of weeks. After birth, the opossum babies, crawl up into their mother's pouch where they continue to grow and develop until they are a couple of months old.
View all 10 animals that start with O.
View printer friendly version of Opossum article.
Learn how you can use or cite the Opossum article in your website content, school work and other projects.
First Published: 13th October 2009, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 13 Oct 2009]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 13 Oct 2009]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 13 Oct 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 13 Oct 2009]