Opossum vs. Possum: The Difference


When it comes to the difference between opossum vs. possum, one of the biggest differences is in terms of what their natural diet consists of. Opossums are known to eat small creatures such as beetles, earthworms and even slugs, while possums will eat almost anything, including other opossums.

What You Need To Know

There is more to this difference however. In order to have an idea of the difference between opossum vs. possum, you need to know just a little about the species themselves. The two major types of opossums are the West Indian Possum and the New Zealand Possum, though there are also others.

The New Zealand Possum or simply the Possum in New Zealand is an extremely unique animal. It was discovered by British sailors during their travels in the 1820’s and is widely recognized for its large size, soft flesh and its habit of eating anything that walks on its land. The animal is very shy when first spotted and is only seen when in need. This is what makes it so appealing to most people, not only is it friendly but very sociable with other members of the animal kingdom. They can live in a variety of habitats and can live under the ground or in trees and bushes.

The West Indian Possum or the Eastern Possum as it is commonly known is a smaller version of the West Indian Possum. They do have the same soft, meaty skin and long, strong tail, but they are much smaller in stature and weigh up to five pounds. These animals tend to spend a lot of time in wet habitats like forests. They may even be able to survive in small houses.

Why They are Popular

One of the main reasons why these animals are so popular around the world is that they are very versatile and adaptable. Unlike many types of rodents, possums do not actually get rid of the dead. They simply throw it away and they are eaten by other creatures. It is quite amazing how this works for them, as they have been known to eat up to half of a dead rat.

Opossum and Possum

One of the biggest differences between opossum and possum is that the former is not as aggressive towards other animals. They generally only pick on birds, insects and even rodents and small reptiles. Unlike possums, opossums will not bite, scratch or attack others. When they do attack other animals though, they tend to run away quickly as they are afraid of getting hurt.

As you can see, there are a few big differences between the two and you may even find yourself saying that you do not even know the difference between the two. This does not mean that you cannot enjoy the fun of watching the antics of both possums and opossums at the local animal shelter and zoo.

The bottom line is that there is no real difference between the two animals other than the physical characteristics. That is the reason why it is so important to pay close attention to their diet. Even if you do not care much for them personally, you should still look out for them at the local wildlife center. This will help ensure that their population does not increase too rapidly and their numbers drop too drastically.

However, this difference between the two is not going to make them any more or less comfortable than they already are. They will not change their behavior just because they are different in some way. Their eating habits are basically the same. They will both eat seeds and vegetables, and some fruits.In fact, a lot of people actually prefer to eat foods that come from the opossum family, as well as plants and insects. They often have a great liking for certain types of fruits and seeds, but they will eat whatever food they can get their hands on. As long as you allow them to eat whatever they want, they will be fine. Opossum vs Possum is no doubt almost similar to each as well as their spelling. You can learn more words from 501words blog.


It really depends on what you prefer, but I am sure that you can tell that these animals are not that different at all. At the end of the day, both are animals, just with very different requirements that have to be met. Even the names of animals are confusing. But properly knowing their characteristics will help you define which name you will call them. 

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