What is an Opossum's Natural Diet?
The omnivore opossums are not very choosy in their diet. These scavengers invade your attic and can consume any stored cat food .They also love to gulp insects and rodents. However, if they are residing in a wild environment they feed on the shrubs, leaves, nut and small rodents, etc. Traveling about two meters in search of food these marsupial utilizes their tail as an appendage to obtain food. The tail is termed as prehensile, meaning it has the ability to grip. The curling tail rolls around the branches and aids the animal in climbing on trees with reasonable balance. They are not very good at hanging upside down by their tail
The opossum's grab their food using the unique "thumbs “on their paws acting like hindmost feet. They can hold food easily to make the feeding pattern simpler. The opossum's diet varies with the seasons. While rummaging at night, the nose lies to the ground, hunting prey via touch and smell. Though they can visualize distant objects, it has been reported that vision is not the element they use to locate the food during the night raiding.
The historical evolution of the possum has made them adaptive to a wide variety of food sources. Opossums eat fruits, snakes, insects, slugs, eggs, rats, fish and much more. Possums are nocturna land about 30 minutes after sunset they poke their nose into the surroundings. The way back to the den is crossed just at dawn in the summer; however they hide earlier in winter. A study has revealed that both live and dead animals are preferred in spring and winter, while slugs are consumed more in the summer and fall is the season for fruit munching.
- Possums favorite foods are leaves from trees, and they will selectively consume them
- Clover is at the top of the menu. If they inhabit farms, barley, rye and similar crops are ingested
- Possums feed invertebrates like snails
- The innate birds can’t hide themselves and their poor eggs from being a possum’s prey
- These predators masticate the carcasses of road kills
The meal picks change with the species, and the ringtail possums mainly eat varied plants in the Myrtacae family comprised of the shrubs and lower canopy. Young leaves are preferred over old ones. Eucalypt leaves when young are nitrogen rich with fragile cell walls and a good amount of tannins. The possum skillfully chew these leaves to get optimum nutrition. The Greater Glider fondly eats insects while, the Pygmy Possum and Honey Possum rely on nectars. The diversified eating style has made the creature very interesting to study. If you find a guest possum in your home, you can serve multi–dimensional dishes to them.
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