Why Does an Opossum Hang By its Tail?

There are many things about the opossum that make it a strange and in teresting animal. To begin with, did you know that opossums belong to a group of animals called “marsupial”? The females of this group have pouches on the underside of the body in which the young develop.

The kangaroos of Australia are probably the best known of this group. Opossums are from 23 to 50 centimeters long with tails of 23 to 33 centimeters long.

Their fur is greyish white in colour. Their round ears, long, narrow tails, and palms of their feet are hairless. The inside toe on the hind foot can be bent like a thumb to meet any of the other toes. The opossums uses his hind feet as hands.


They help him climb trees. His long, flexible tails is also used in tree climbing. Opossums spend a lot of time in trees, hunting and eating. Since they can uses their hind feet like hands, as it were, to grasp their food.

To do this, they wrap their tails around a branch, hang down and gather their food with their feet. And what a variety of food they eat! Their diet includes small mamals, insects, small birds, eggs poultry, lizards, crayfish, snails, fruit of all kinds, corn on the cob, mushrooms and worms. At night, opossums invade orchards for fruit and hen houses for poultry and eggs.

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