Not to be confused with the opossum that is found in North America and often called possum, the possum is native to Australia, New Guinea, and Sulawesi, and has been introduced in New Zealand and southern China. Nocturnal and omnivorous, they hide in their nests during the day and come out at night to forage for food. With 25 species of these medium-sized arboreal marsupials, there is plenty to do and learn in this category.

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Food Chains and Food Webs

What do possums eat?

Possums are essentially herbivorous and insectivorous, meaning they will eat a variety of foods. Possums' feeding habits range from omnivores (the Common Brushtail possum) to specialist browsers of eucalyptus (Greater Glider), insectivores (Mountain Pygmy Possum) and nectar-feeders (Honey Possum).

In the wild, they eat young shoots, leaves, flowers, nectar and fruit of a variety of trees and shrubs. They also feed on insects. They do not eat fish.

Possums also enjoy a feed of bread and honey put out by helpful suburban homeowners. However, it is best not to feed possums as they may become dependent on people for their food supply.

They tend to scavenge and have been known to eat pet foods.

Note: Possums are quite different animals from the 'opossums' of North America.


What kind of snakes eat possums?

Pythons are most likely to eat possums.

EDIT: It depends. If you are referring to the Australian possum, then yes, I would assume a Scrub or Carpet python or the like would eat it. However, if you mean the North American opossum, then only the young would be eaten by a snake as adults are highly resistant to snake bites, assuming the snake is venomous, and there are no native snakes large enough.

Sugar Gliders

What animals live in gum trees?

a frog


Female possums have how many nipples?

It depends on the species. Most possums of Australia, such as the Ringtail possum, the various Pygmy possums and the six species of gliders, have four nipples. The Brushtail possum has just two nipples in the pouch.

The opossum, which is NOT related to possums, has thirteen nipples arranged in a circular form. There may be as many as 17 nipples.


Do both the kangaroo and the possum come out at night?

Yes. Possums and almost all species of kangaroos are nocturnal, meaning they come out at night.


What is the lifespan of the ringtail possum?

The average life span of a ringtail possum is 5-7 years. If they are not taken by dogs or hit by cars, they can live a few years longer.


Do possums swim in ponds?

Not by choice.

Possums can swim, but it is not one of their favoured activities.


Do possums sleep during day?

Yes. Possums are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night.


Are possums dangerous for dogs?

True possums, which are native to Australia (and introduced to New Zealand), are not particularly dangerous to dogs. Possums usually come off worst in an encounter with a dog, and at most the dog may have to be treated for possum bites. The only disease a dog is likely to get if bitten by a possum is tetanus from an untreated wound.


Can possums be domesticated?

No. Possums will alwasy be wild animals, except in the case of abandoned joeys which have been hand-reared. Even then, they never truly lose their wildness.

Endangered, Vulnerable, and Threatened Species

Who are pygmy possums' predators?

The predators of the pygmy possums, of which there are five species, include eagles, hawks, owls and quolls.

Foxes and feral cats, both of which have been introduced to Australia, are also predators of pygmy possums.


Is a possum a herbivore?

Not necessarily. Most species of possums in Australia are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. Possums are not the same as opossums.

Possums commonly eat fruit (making them partly frugivorous), grains and seeds (granivorous), plant shoots and nectar. They have also been known to eat insects (meaning they are also insectivorous), small lizards, birds' eggs and sometimes even tiny chicks. Brush-tailed possums in New Zealand, to which they have been introduced, have even been seen to eat whole birds.

Possums' teeth are not the shape of a standard herbivore or carnivore, but have the specialised shape of an omnivore, which allow them to grasp, cut, slice and grind.


How did the common brush tail possum get its name?

because it's tail is shaped like a brush


Do possums sleep with their eyes open?

Possums usually sleep with their eyes closed, but you may see the occasional possum asleep during the daytime, with its eyes open.


Are there possums in Spain?

In Zoos.


What do you do if you see a possum on your porch?

Absolutely nothing. Ignore it, and it will ignore you. It's also best to keep cats and dogs away.

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Plural Nouns

Are possums dangerous?

No. Possums are not dangerous.

The possum is unlikely to attack a human being unless it feels it is left with no other choice. The possum is giving away both height and reach and knows it is likely to come off worse in a fight with a human. Usually it will 'play dead' if it is caught unawares. The best advice is to go along with the possum's game and leave the little chicken alone safe in the knowledge he knows who's boss. That way nobody gets bitten.


Only the North American opossum plays dead.

True possums - the marsupials found in many parts of Australia - do not play dead, but they will scratch or bite if cornered. They are very docile creatures and just want to be left alone. If trapped, like any other animal, they become scared for their life and will defend themselves. Other than that, just give them a way out and they will take it. There is no reason to ever fear a possum. They are a very clean, disease free animal, although they are known to harbour ticks and fleas, and pose more of a danger to domestic pets than to people.

Incidentally, the "playing dead" strategy is not a choice - it is a physiological defence over which the opossum has no control. It is not trying to show anyone "who's boss" - it is an instinctive defence mechanism.


How long do possums live?

Larger possums such as brushtail and ringtail possums can live up to 11 years if not taken by predators or hit by cars. They tend to have an average lifespan of 6-7 years.

Sometimes it depends on whether the possum is male or female.

For smaller species such as the Eastern Pygmy Possum, it varies hugely for males and females. Females average 11 years, but males usually only live to four years.

Virginia opossums, which are quite different to true possums, appear to have a maximum lifespan of four years, even in protective captivity. In the wild they are more likely to live only 1-2 years.

Endangered, Vulnerable, and Threatened Species

What impact do humans have on the mountain pygmy possum?

Humans have impacted significantly on the Mountain pygmy possum's habitat. One of the main threats to the mountain pygmy possum is the human interference as a result of the possum's habitat coinciding with the location of Australia's main ski resorts. The possum's habitat is broken up by ski runs. Skiing and similar human recreational activities are a threat to this delicate creature.

Humans have also introduced animals such as wild cats and foxes which are also a problem. They prey on this small possum.

Another major threat to their survival is the fact that humans have introduced the blackberry species which are gradually making their insidious way up the slopes of the mountains, choking out native species, and thus threatening the mountain pygmy possum's food source.

German Shepherds

What if a possum bites a German Shepherd?

First of all its GERMAN SHEPHERD, not "Shepard". Second of all, if your dog is not current on his/her rabies (which, why in the world would he/she not be) then you should get this dog to the veterinary IMMEDIATELY to be checked out.

Care of Mice and Rats
Care of Rabbits
Botany or Plant Biology

Can you eat acorns?

Yes you can. They are in many recipes including breads and pancakes.

I wouldnt eat them raw though they are very bitter

Animal Life

Do possum's sleep hanging from a tree?

No. This is a myth. True possums, which are marsupials of Australia and surrounding islands, do not sleep hanging from a tree. Nor do opossums, an entirely different creature whose name is often shortened to 'possum'.


How strong is a possums bite?

very strong! they have 50 teeth and it takes a lot to make them let go.

Building and Carpentry
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How do you remove stucco from a building?

Note - provide cold water and 6 junior whoppers for lunch. not a bad accomplishment for 186.00... Heat gun & scrapeer... I did this on a porch ceiling of a house where I worked at the company that owned the house... It was about 10x20 and took me almost 3 days of scraping. Its NOT easy work.

Producers (food chain)

Are possums omnivores or producers?



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