A North American Opossum In It's Winter Coat. Photo: Cody Pope
A North American Opossum In It’s Winter Coat. Photo: Cody Pope

What eats a possum (or opossum?) What do possums eat?

First off, possums are marsupials, which means the mothers carry their young in a pouch, just like that other marsupial, the kangaroo. Different species of opossums are found throughout North and South America. There is also an Australian possum.

What do possums eat? Opossums are omnivores, which means they eat a wide variety of vegetation, insects, and other animals. They will also scavenge, which means they will eat carrion, or dead things, as well as garbage left by humans. When you find an opossum eating out of your garbage can, that possum is scavenging!

As for what eats opossums—just about any predator larger than an opossum would be happy to eat one. Those predators include foxes, coyotes, and bobcats, as well as predatory birds such as hawks and owls. Some people also cook and eat opossums—and they think they’re delicious!

Opossums are famous for playing dead—or “playing possum”—in order to keep other animals from attacking and eating them. Sometimes playing possum works, sometimes it doesn’t. . . .

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.