Animals & Plants Fact List

13 Interesting Facts About Opossums

Here are 13 Interesting Opossum facts.

1-5 Opossum Facts

1. Opossums are great at reducing the tick population in a given area. Scientists estimate that a single opossum can kill about 5,000 ticks in a single season. – Source

2. Opossums don’t actually “play dead”, but under intense fear, they will pass out involuntarily and will start reeking of death. – Source

3. The English word Opossum is originated from the now-extinct language of the Algonquian people, the native tribe inhabiting the site of the earliest English colony in what is now the U.S. at Roanoke Island. – Source

4. Opossums and possums are actually two completely different animals. They share the fact that they are marsupials, but no other relation, and they live on opposite sides of the planet. – Source

5. Despite their reputation, it is actually extremely rare for an opossum to have rabies because their body temperature is too low for rabies to survive and replicate well. – Source

6-10 Opossum Facts

6. Opossums have the most teeth out of any other North American mammal, 50. – Source

7. Virginia opossums have 13 nipples arranged in a ring of 12 around the central number 13. – Source

8. Benjamin Harrison had two pet opossums named Mr. Reciprocity and Mr. Protection. – Source

9. When opossums get overweight, their fat deposits cause their eyes to go cross-eyed. – Source

10. In 2016, an Opossum named Robin survived a double-arrow attack. – Source

11-13 Opossum Facts

11. Adult opossums do not hang from trees by their tails, as sometimes depicted, though babies may dangle temporarily. – Source

12. The shrewish short-tailed opossum (Monodelphis Sorex), a tiny South American marsupial, can have up to 27 nipples more than any mammal. – Source

13. The female opossum has two vaginas and the male opossum has a two-pronged penis that goes into each vagina. – Source

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