Not everyone finds opossums cute (even though they totally are), but that’s ok. These nocturnal creatures have more to offer the world than just their looks! Opossums are uniquely skilled animals with a variety of special capabilities that help them survive. They also bring their fair share of benefits to the environment around them!
Although it can be startling to come across an opossum in your yard at night when you’re not expecting one, there’s no reason to be scared as long as you don’t get too close. If you’re still not the biggest fan of these critters, keep reading. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite facts about these incredible marsupials that might just change your mind. Who knows; you might start to find opossums cute after learning more about them!
1. Their tails are really useful.
Opossums have long and dexterous tails that help them carry things around. Treehugger tells us that these creatures often treat their tails like an additional arm!
2. Mama opossums provide the cutest shuttle service for their babies.
Baby opossums tend to stick close to their moms… like, really close. In addition to raising them in a pouch on her belly, a mother opossum will also carry her cute little joeys around on her back, according to Farmer’s Almanac.
3. They are immune to a variety of venoms.
Did you know that opossums aren’t affected by honeybee or scorpion venom? That’s because they’re immune! They’re also very unlikely to contract rabies or Lyme disease, the Forest Preserve District of Will County says.
4. Opossums make some very cute sounds.
Opossums aren’t overly chatty, but they’ve been known to make a few different sounds that are actually really adorable. Often, they’ll communicate with each other via a clicking noise. Farmer’s Almanac tells us that mothers use this sound to talk to their babies, while males use it to attract a mate.
5. Ticks are one of their favorite foods!
If you don’t like ticks, you should love opossums. These critters consume a large volume of the blood-sucking insects, mostly from their own fur. In fact, according to the Forest Preserve District of Will County, opossums eat nearly all of the ticks that make the mistake of attaching themselves to these marsupials.
Next time you see an opossum in your yard, don’t be afraid. Remember all of the unique benefits these creatures are bringing to the eco-system of your neighborhood! If you’re looking for even more reasons to love opossums, check out these hilarious photos!
Want to be happier in just 5 minutes a day? Sign up for Morning Smile and join over 455,000+ people who start each day with good news.