Dumb Possum - How Smart Are Opossums?


06.16.2003 - I read in a wildlife book that the North American, or Virginia, Opossum has the smallest ratio of brain mass to body mass of ANY mammal in the world. I actually don't think that's true (armadillos for example seem to have teeny heads and big bodies), but I certainly do acknowledge that the possum's brain can't be very large, and that the animal doesn't use much of what it does have. Opossums are dumb! They're so dumb that they let their ears freeze off in the winter instead of seeking shelter. They're so dumb that I've chased them and they run into walls. Sometimes they just stand there with their mouths open, but then don't even have the sense to bite.

This here possum in this photo wern't too smart. I caught it using an emptry trap with no bait. Then when I opened the cage to let it go, it walked the opposite directon into the back of the cage. Then it wandered across the yard and encountered a fake plastic own and tried to get into a fight with it. This opossum so dumb it waited all day at a stop sign. This opossum so dumb it got hit by a parked car. This opossum so dumb it thought Meow Mix was a CD for cats. This opossum so dumb it climbed over a glass wall to see what was on the other side. This opossum so dumb it tried to kill a fish by drowning it.

So yes, opossums are stupid, but they're also great survivors. They make up for their lack of brainpower by being immune to nearly all diseases and by being able to eat almost anything, even Taco Bell. They don't live long, and they have a knack for getting hit by cars, but they do manage to breed quickly and find shelter inside attics of homes, so that's all it takes. They're good at eating, mating, and sleeping, so I guess in that sense, these critters ain't so dumb after all.

The opossum, (Didelphis virginiana) is a nocturnal animal that lives in North America. It is a marsupial, which means that the females give birth to tiny young, who grow in a pouch. These young eventually cling to the mother's back and drop off when they are large enough. Opossums are unique for many reasons. They have opposable thumbs, prehensile tails, 50 teeth, and several other unusual features. They are omnivores who eat almost anything, they have excellent immune systems, and they rarely live more than 2-3 years in the wild. They are most commonly considered a nuisance species when they live in an attic or other structure, such as under a shed, or steal pet food or threaten animals.

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Opossums are usually found in different parts of North America. They are mostly found in the wilderness, however, their presence in the urban parts of the city is not uncommon. They can hide and find refuge in your attic or under the shed. This can often result in them stealing food that you put out for your pets and then create a lot of problems. One theory that revolves around opossums is their inability to use their brain. They are often considered to be dumb and brainless. Now, let us take a look into this assumption and see if it is true.

It is said that these animals don't have a very large brain and whatever it does have, it does not use much of it. One such example of it is how it behaves in winters. It prefers to freeze its ears rather than going elsewhere to seek shelter. There have been incidents where people have reported cornering opossums and seeing no response in return. Many people associate opossums usually with getting hit by a car. They rarely bite even if it can save its life. However, they are not as dumb as people believe them to be. They possess a few skills that compensate for their minimal brainpower.

Opossums are great at surviving in difficult conditions. They are immune to a lot of diseases and can survive on any item of food if needed. Their natural process involves reproducing quickly as it increases their chances of making it out in the wild. A female opossum has a gestation period of only 12 days and then gives birth to 10-15 pups which means that in less than 2 weeks, opossums can procreate extensively. Nature's system regarding such a short reproduction period is in direct relation to its surviving chances. This reproduction period increases the chances of surviving against nature and the other animals surrounding it. Opossums are relatively smart in other areas of life. They are excellent at remembering things such as the location of their hidden food, surpassing the capabilities of dogs and cats.

Opossums may not be well-equipped in dealing with situations that require attacking but they are smart when it comes to avoiding such life-threatening scenarios by playing dead. They are well-known for playing dead when they are in a difficult situation. It is very difficult to shake them out of their trance of playing dead as they can go to any lengths when they play this. They may even go to the extent of secreting liquids from their anus which smells foul and helps them as the predators think that the opossums are truly dead. It is very hard to bring them back to life as they continue to play dead. However, one interesting thing is that opossums do not need to play dead in front of snakes. This is because they are protected against snake bites due to a special protein in their body that makes them immune.

Opossums may not be very smart generally but they are still intelligent enough to survive and make their place in the wilderness.

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