Fun, Strange, and Surprising Facts About Opossums


Unlike Australia, where they have many marsupials like Kangaroos, Koalas, and Wombats - Opossums are the only marsupial found north of Mexico that roam in the wild. Here are some fun facts about Opossums.  

Opossums Have 50 Teeth

These animals have the most teeth found in any mammal in North America. So, why is that so special? Opossums are basically like human garbage disposals. They’ll eat almost anything, even more than raccoons eat - including bones! Although they have many teeth and may seem scary, Opossums are rarely aggressive and usually only show their teeth as a defensive mechanism to protect themselves from predators. 

Their Immune System Is Strong and Unique

Opossums have an interesting immune system - making it almost like their superpower. Because of a particular protein in their blood, it will bond to the toxins in venom and neutralize them. This makes venomous snakes a perfect meal, whereas most animals wouldn’t ever think about having a snake as a meal. Opossums’ blood and immune systems are so unique that some studies have been and are being done to see if they could serve as an antidote to humans in the future. Another fact is that Opossums have such a low body temperature that almost makes it impossible for bacteria or rabies to thrive. 

They Don’t Get to Pick and Choose When They Play Dead

Because Opossums aren’t aggressive animals, playing dead is their way of defending themselves. But that doesn’t always mean they get to turn it on and off. When under intense stress, their bodies go into a state of comatose, similar to humans fainting. They can last in this state of unconsciousness for up to four hours! So it’s best if you ever see an Opossum lying somewhere and think it’s dead, wait a couple of hours and see what happens. 

Baby Opossums are the Size of a Honeybee

Like baby Kangaroos, baby Opossums are also called joeys and are incredibly tiny when born. However, after they’re born, they have incredible strength and crawl to their mother’s pouch, where they’ll stay for the next two to three months, growing and getting stronger. After they’ve spent their time in the pouch, they’ll hang out on their mother’s back until they’re about four months old and can live on their own. 

Old South Exterminators

We have served the Lowcountry area since 1968 with educated and licensed technicians. Contact us today if you have questions, comments, or concerns.