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Opossum [video]

Playing Possum
Daylight Opossum playing possum

Today I found an Opossum foraging for food along the roadside. Typically I find them during night time hours, so I used this opportunity to try and capture a little video of this ugly guy! I approached very slowly and because it was soo focused on gathering food . . . it did not notice me for about 5 or so minutes. I observed it feeding on something in the grass but couldn’t tell exactly what it was (assuming some kind of grub). I made a little noise to get its attention and then it suddenly played possum! I took a few photos and after backing off some, it came back to life. It showed me its teeth and then decided to run away! The Opossum was still observed foraging in the same field when I returned 15 minutes later to point him out to someone.

I can’t help myself sometimes with cute-ugly things! Don’t worry, I promise birds will be returning here soon!

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33 responses

  1. calevphoto

    You’re lucky that you get so many chances to see wildlife. My best opportunities lately have been trips to the zoo with Eitan and Nathan.

    A few days ago I got excited to see a raccoon, but now I remember all the raccoons we would see in the park by staying up late and offering cookies.

    4 February 2008 at 10:20 pm

  2. obi4240

    Nice video. They’re so ugly they’re cute! Oh c’mon, you know they are!

    4 February 2008 at 11:03 pm

  3. They are not the prettiest creatures on the planet, but still they’re as cute as they can be. There’s something about them that looks very primitive, like they’ve looked this way for zillions of years. Nice to see one alive and not squished into the pavement.

    4 February 2008 at 11:13 pm

  4. Nancy Hurst

    Sarah thinks opossums are the cutest. She loves them! How many more weeks of winter are there if a opossum sees his shadow?

    4 February 2008 at 11:38 pm

  5. Hey, Tom – that is unusual to capture an opposum during the day. I’ve only seen them at night when they have been “caught” on top of our fence and have caused our dogs and other neighbors’ dogs to bark. That sure was interesting to see him/her continually turn around and face you and show its teeth.

    4 February 2008 at 11:40 pm

  6. Heather (Ephemeron)

    That was hilarious!

    4 February 2008 at 11:41 pm

  7. TR

    He doesn’t look designed to run very fast. Isn’t it odd to see them so early in the afternoon? I think I’ve got one that comes in the dark of night for the leftover nibbles of dog food.

    4 February 2008 at 11:42 pm

  8. “cute-ugly things” I can completely relate – who could resist? One of my blog stories speak of deep relationship with a skunk. Adorable little buggers! Great post Tom! I’m still awaiting the day I run into one – there was only one time I found the tracks of one. I think you should start a opossum club!

    4 February 2008 at 11:54 pm

  9. Scary!!! Did you zoom in or were you really that close? Eewww, teeth and everything….you’re brave!

    5 February 2008 at 12:03 am

  10. That was one annoyed ‘possom. I loved it — he was all, “And another thing. Oh, and don’t forget about this one. Are you still there? Well let me tell you.”

    All while hustling away as fast as his little hustle would go. Funny! Hey, dude, you didn’t fool us! You were scared of Tom!

    5 February 2008 at 12:14 am

  11. naturespalette

    That video is awesome! I’ve never seen one in action before.

    5 February 2008 at 12:38 am

  12. Awww I think it’s cute, Tom! Too bad it had to get scared, but it was interesting to see it’s little pink mouth and the little pink toes spread apart!

    5 February 2008 at 6:00 am

  13. Whenever I see one who has uh, met their maker, in the road, I always remember that they say that there will most likely always be babies in the pouch, and that always makes me sort of sad for some reason.

    5 February 2008 at 6:56 am

  14. Lisa at Greenbow

    Big ugly critter. They look like gigantic rats to me. It must have been awfully hungry to be out during the day foraging. Good video. I could hear the wind.

    5 February 2008 at 7:37 am

  15. I haven’t seen a possum since we moved (1.5 years). Didn’t realize how much I’d missed them!

    5 February 2008 at 7:53 am

  16. @ Joe – thanks and it is fun for sure! I bet you have some in your area somewhere! I remember those raccoons for sure!
    @ obi – thanks and sure are! LOL
    @ Robin – without a doubt and it is nice not seeing one squished. Thanks
    @ Nancy – not sure how many more weeks with the opossum! But they are cute at times!
    @ Mary – thanks and was happy to see it during the day (Must have been hungry). He has many teeth for sure!
    @ Heather – glad you enjoyed! 🙂
    @ TR – chubby toes doesn’t allow them to run that fast, I was walking behind it! Must have been very hungry to be out! Do note previously we had thick ice on the ground making it hard to find food!
    @ aullori – for sure and skunks fit that category also! Thanks and the opossum club isn’t going to happy with me!
    @ Chicago – I always get close but not close enough to be bitten! Its always to keep your distance. Thanks
    @ Liz – LOL, I loved when it played Possum! I said outloud when it first did that “I can’t see you”! LOL
    @ naturespalette – thanks and they are fun to watch!
    @ Pam – Naa, it’s good it got scared!! That’s nature or something else would have eaten it!
    @ Jayne – That is a shame for sure but I honestly am not sure when they give birth!
    @ Lisa- they are for sure! LOL. We have had ice covering the ground making it hard to find food! That is my guess!
    @ Wren – you can have mine! LOL

    5 February 2008 at 8:10 am

  17. Cutie!

    5 February 2008 at 9:06 am

  18. snapshotanimations

    I feel sorry for him, running away.

    5 February 2008 at 11:25 am

  19. Aww, casting aspersions on a poor little ‘possum? I think they’re just plain cute. We had a family of them growing up that lived in the neighbor’s grape vines. Love the photo!

    5 February 2008 at 11:57 am

  20. I love possums. I don’t know how they survive moving so slow. Maybe the teeth are their defense. Something else so interesting. No snow on the ground in your video. The possum actually looked a little bit “pretty” with his thick winter coat. His face is kind of fuzzy and cute.

    5 February 2008 at 1:27 pm

  21. I was walking on my college campus years ago in the evening…when I saw a opossum right on the street on the way to the library! Under the streetlamp…I wondered what the creature was, then he hissed at me, as I was a bit too close!

    I was a bit frightened….but I realized he was probably more scared than I. I walked around slowly and let him hiss away and he stayed right where he was. Wish I had had a camera:)

    This past spring…out in the woods I scared up a turkey hen and her chicks. I am always surprised at how awesome it is to be in the presence of others in the wild…each of these events has been a gift to me….as startling as they are:)

    5 February 2008 at 1:44 pm

  22. I love possums, actually & tend to believe they’re cuter than most people give them credit for. I’m surprised that our local possums & raccoons tolerate each other so well. I recently read that possums may be as intelligent as pigs & that they have opposable thumbs on all 4 feet. Humans beware!

    5 February 2008 at 2:34 pm

  23. Great photo, great video.
    One of God’s creatures.
    All have their places in our world.
    I like that the possum kept looking back at you and hissing–so it seemed. Possum saying to Tom–back off, human.

    5 February 2008 at 4:50 pm

  24. Another terrific video!
    I have never see a opposum in the daylight. Watching him forage for food was very fun.
    Glad your video camera was near by.

    5 February 2008 at 7:49 pm

  25. He’s harmless and just a little camera-shy. Might not be too handsome, though :o) Good video, as usual. At the beginning, he looked like a dog looking for a place to do you-know-what.

    5 February 2008 at 10:02 pm

  26. Grace

    Did you know they have more teeth (50 all together) than any other U.S. mammal?

    6 February 2008 at 12:06 am

  27. winterwoman

    They’re so cute when’ they’re babies… What happens? (I suppose you could say that about some people, too… not me of course.)

    That was an interesting fact, Grace! Thank you! I’ll be using that next time I teach about mammals!

    6 February 2008 at 5:48 am

  28. Every time I see one out in the daytime like that, I worry about it having rabies!

    It’s pretty funny how they freeze like that.

    6 February 2008 at 7:24 am

  29. @ Mist – thanks!
    @ Snapshotanimations – as noted on the post, it was foraging in the same field a short time later when I brought someone else to see!
    @ Adam – I would love to capture many little ones together! They are cute!
    @ Linda – they are fun and they do have some teeth! Our snow has melted already!!
    @ organicsyes – that would have been great if you did have your camera! They will let you get close but do watch there teeth! Thanks for sharing!
    @ I so agree that they can be cute for sure! You talking those sausage toes? LOL
    @ KGMom – thanks and gave me a few warnings and then I finally did back off!
    @ Sherry – thanks and never seen one this cooperative during daylight! Thanks and don’t you take camcorder, point-n-shoot, and 400mm everywhere you go? I do!!
    @ Mary – do need to watch those many teeth! Thanks
    @ Grace – yes, isn’t that great?
    @ Jen – they are cute and then they get older! LOL, was kinda thinking the same thing about people, Great minds think alike! Thanks
    @ Rurality – I have seen animals with rabies and this one just seemed to look hungry foraging for food! Although, I did have that thought many times looking at it! But, all very typical opossum behaviors! Thanks

    6 February 2008 at 12:23 pm

  30. I love the way he sort of trotted along, glancing back from time to time. “You still followin’ me??”

    6 February 2008 at 9:13 pm

  31. Marg

    LOL I think he certainly got his point across as to what he thought about your following him!

    They are cute/ugly aren’t they?

    7 February 2008 at 4:42 pm

  32. lvn600

    I waiting for it to hiss and it finallly did.-They are good at that.-I accidentally caught one in a have-a-heart trap once and it was not a pretty seen.

    10 February 2008 at 7:17 am

  33. Great site. Opossums are so interesting. I do Wildlife rehab for NC state.

    17 April 2008 at 10:21 am

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