Opossums are a marsupials, which means that they are a species that give birth to undeveloped young which then live in the mother’s pouch until fully developed. There are about 100 species of opossums and most are quite small. The largest opossum is slightly larger size of a large cat and the smallest are no bigger than a small mouse. Many species travel in trees, but some are solely ground animals. Their most unique characteristic is their ability to “play possum.” This is an involuntary response when they are threatened and they appear, and smell, dead to deter predators. Let’s take a look at where these unique creatures live.
Where do opossums live?
The most well known species, the Virginia opossum, is found throughout Central America and throughout most of the Eastern United States and along a small strip of the West coast. They have also been found in Canada in recent years and this suggests that their range is expanding. The Virginia opossum is the only species of opossum found in North America. The remaining species are found throughout much of Central and South America. Most have a fairly small distribution, but some species are found over a very wide area.
Opossums frequent a wide variety of habitats and generally stay in an area as long as food and water are available. They will sometime create their own burrows, but most often use a readymade burrow or other safe area instead. They are nocturnal, which means that they like to have a dark safe place during the daylight hours.