Difference between Opossum and Possum
Opossum and possum both are marsupials with similar-looking snouts, feet and eyes. Both are omnivorous with similar diets. Despite these similarities, they are different from each other. Let us see how opossum differs from possum!
The Opossum is a marsupial mammal with a white face and grayish-white body, mostly found in North America. It belongs to the order, Didelphidae. Opossums have a distinguishable long snout, narrow brain case or skull and a prominent chest. They have sharp teeth like a cat and a bare, rat-like tail. People generally consider opossum an ugly and scary creature and are not willing to see it in their backyard or surroundings.
Opossums are intelligent animals as they can find their food more quickly than rats and cats. They are also skilled colonizers and survivors as they can survive in diverse climatic conditions. They are carnivorous, i.e. their diet includes grass, buds, flowers, fungi, ferns, fruits, insects and eggs. They are not social animals as they tend to live a solitary life. They are not burrowing animals and like to live on trees. Female opossums generally have two breeding cycles in a year.
Possums, which are also known as Phalangeriformes, are native to Australia. The name possum is derived from the American opossums as both look alike. They belong to order, Diprotodontia. They are distinguished by their flat, round face with a small snout and eyes towards the front. They have sharp claws suitable for arboreal lifestyle and a tail that is bushy and mostly black in colour.
Possums are small tree-dwelling marsupials. They are nocturnal so they are active at night and stay in abandoned burrows. They are omnivorous animals as they can feed on flowers, grass, fungi, fern, insects, eggs etc. Their eyesight and hearing power are not much strong but they have a strong sense of smell that helps them escape from the dangers.
Based on the above information, some of the key differences between opossum and possum are as follows: