Possums don’t play dead when threatened. Instead, they give a warning hiss and flee to find safety. When frightened or startled by humans, possums freeze in place with their eyes wide open for about 10 seconds before lying motionless until the threat has passed.
Baby possums are very cute and they play dead with their eyes open. They will also eat a lot of food and then sleep for a long time. Read more in detail here: do possums play dead with their eyes open.
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Possums are little marsupials that live in backyards and gardens. They have long, thin bodies and are often rather attractive when seen. Possums, on the other hand, have a poor reputation.
They are often suspected of causing damage outside the home, with people blaming them for killing their chickens or generating a mess in their trash cans (they are raccoons!).
Possums, on the other hand, are typically peaceful critters that avoid causing too much trouble. However, before we get into detail regarding possums acting dead, it’s vital to have a basic understanding of their behavior.
Possums are typically happy to clean up after other animals, such as raccoons, have caused a mess. One of the reasons they are often caught in the act is because of this. Some accuse them of murdering hens, although this is very unusual.
The majority of people just blame these creatures because they exist. You must realize that these creatures do not pose a serious danger. They dislike staying in one spot for an extended amount of time.
Furthermore, these creatures are often good to your environment. They may devour small rodents and will easily eliminate small insects like slugs and snails. They’ll even get rid of any fruit that falls from your tree.
These are generally calm creatures. When cornered, they may hiss or growl, but as long as you keep your distance, these creatures will not hurt you.
Possums like playing dead, which is one of their distinguishing characteristics. These creatures go into a comatose condition nearly instantaneously when they perceive a fight forming.
What is the source of this reaction?
The possum has little control over this physiological reaction, which occurs naturally. It is often caused by the animal’s significant shock and stress.
It’s also not something the possum can overcome quickly: they may stay in this comatose condition for anywhere from a half hour to four hours! The animal’s whole body becomes limp.
The lips are pulled back and the teeth stiffen into tight balls. In this stage, the animal even begins drooling. You can simply poke, pick up, and take the animal with you if you like!
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the possum’s deception is that it seems to be dead: it even smells like a dead animal.
The unique and intense odor of effluvium will emanate from the animal’s body.
This Isn’t a Performance
Many individuals believe that these creatures are “acting dead.” That is incorrect. These creatures are not playing possum; instead, they are comatose.
The protective mechanism evolved through time and is intended to throw the animal’s assailant off. This allows the possum plenty of time to flee.
When the animal is in this condition, it is unable to blink its eyes and is also unable to sense pain. Even if a predator attacks the animal while it is in this condition, it will not feel any pain.
The animal may sometimes get up in a matter of minutes, although this is unusual. The animal seeks to flee as soon as it regains mobility.
Even if the animal manages to survive the assault, there remains a significant danger of harm. In the past, several study investigations have shown wild possums wandering about with significant injuries.
Can They Play Babies Dead?
Another interesting fact about these possums is that they may pretend to be dead even when they are young. You must recognize that this conduct is both normal and automatic. This is something that the possum is born with.
Their tails are also very prehensile. These tails are used to ascend the lofty trees and avoid predators. Possums are fully resistant to the venom of venomous snakes like the pit viper, which is perhaps the most important thing to know about them.
They also have an incredible reproductive rate: a female may give birth to up to 18 offspring in one go, only 14 days after conception. More significantly, these creatures are very adaptable to their environment.
Their high rate of reproduction is likely the key reason why their number continues to grow. Many predators have discovered that when the animal is trapped, it goes into a comatose condition, making them easy prey.
They take advantage of it as well.
It’s a Powerful Performance
When animals are hungry, they normally avoid eating dead animals, as you may know. The possum’s ability to market its performance is via the odor it emits.
It genuinely smells like you’re gazing at a body. Wild creatures are quickly repulsed when they smell this. What causes the possum to emit this odor?
It does this by secreting something from its anus. When the animal is threatened, this extremely odorous chemical is kept in a separate gland and discharged.
Because of the strong odor, these creatures are usually left alone in the wild. Many predators avoid these animals, such as foxes and bobcats.
While newborn possums and even possums are typically lovely creatures, you should be aware that they have a negative image as a result of the many myths that surround them.
Many people believe that these animals may spread rabies, however this is nearly never the case. Because they have a lower body temperature than other animals, the rabies virus cannot grow in their bodies. As a consequence, they can move about with relative ease!
Baby possums are not able to move and play like other young animals. They will often play dead when they feel threatened or scared. Possums can be found in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Reference: what do possums eat.
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