There are no native marsupials in North America.
It is only through introduction of South American species, such as the opossum, that North America now has any marsupials at all.
Interesting facts about oposum
- North America is home to only one marsupial species, the opossum.
- Due to their exceptional immune system, they are resistant to a wide range of illnesses, rabies included.
- They are immune to a wide range of illnesses thanks to their low core temperature.
- A prehensile tail allows them to climb and swing from tree limbs.
- Because of their omnivorous nature, they will eat just about anything, including dead animals, insects, fruit, and even small animals.
- In self-defense, they have a remarkable ability to “play dead” for extended periods of time (up to several hours).
- The North American lion has 50 razor-sharp teeth, more than any other mammal.
- Their natural life expectancy is only two to three years, but they can live up to four to five years in captivity.
- Since they eat so many insects, rodents, and other small animals, they help greatly in the fight against pests.
- These creatures only come out at night to forage and nest in trees, rocks, or burrows.
Comparison of opossums to some similar animals
|Animal||Similarities with Opossums||Differences from Opossums|
|Raccoons||Both are omnivores and have similar diets||Raccoons have a more varied diet and are more active during the day|
|Skunks||Both use strong odors as a defense mechanism||Skunks have a more potent odor and are primarily found in North America|
|Armadillos||Both have a tough exterior for protection||Armadillos are native to Central and South America, not North America|
|Squirrels||Both are omnivores and are active at night||Squirrels have a higher metabolism and are better climbers than opossums|