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What Do Possums Eat?

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In point of fact, there are two different possums: one is in the Western hemisphere and is called an opossum, while the other is an Eastern hemisphere creature called the possum. Both of them are mammals. For this purpose, both will be discussed to cover both sides of the coin. An opossum has a very varied diet while the possum will eat a bit of a different diet. The possum lives in Australia while the Opossum lives in the US and other locations in the Western hemisphere. The common brush tail is one of the possums that live in the Eastern hemisphere.

Virginia opossum a.k.a North American opossumVirginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana). Photo by Cody Pope.

Opossums – America

These animals have a very broad diet here in the Western hemisphere. They can eat small mammals, fruits such as persimmons, apples clementines and oranges. Other items on the menu can include road kill, carrion, snakes, earthworms, birds, frogs and insects. One main source of food that may be surprising is human food. They are able to scavenge from human food stores or food waste. Pet food also is a favorite of many opossums. Yellow and green vegetables also play a part in the diet, as well as different grasses.

Common brushtail possumCommon brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Photo by Wollombi.

Possums – Australia

The possums of Australia and other areas eat shoots from gardens, flowers, vegetables and fruit. In this case, they are usually found in more suburban areas. They can also eat leftovers from human habitation. Also on the menu are small birds, eggs and insects. Seeds can also play an important role in the feeding of these possums.

They are endangered

For the Australian version of a possum, there are 27 total species with many being on the endangered list. For the Western hemisphere version, there are over 120 different species in this hemisphere alone. They are great opportunists as well as being clever scavengers. Human habitation is simply a goldmine for both species of possum. They are considered to be pests in the Eastern hemisphere. However, their opportunistic ways allow them to eat a wider variety of food than other animals in a similar circumstance.