Some say opossums are ugly. Everyone can agree that they are one of the oddest creatures in North America. Opossums look like giant rats, eat almost anything and can live almost anywhere.
The opossum is the only American marsupial mammal. That means the babies emerge only 13 days after conception, crawl into the mother’s pouch, and stay there until they are ready to go out on their own.
Opossums can live in trees or in burrows in the ground. They don’t dig burrows, but they use abandoned ones. They are amazingly resilient to heat or cold. They have a high immunity to many diseases, including rabies. They are even immune to rattlesnake venom. If confronted by an enemy, they can put up a good bluff by hissing and growling and showing their sharp teeth, but they are not good at fighting and would rather run.
Most people have heard that an opossum will “play ‘possum” by pretending to be dead when it is threatened. What happens is that when sufficiently traumatized, the opossum goes into shock causing its body systems to shut down so that it appears to be dead. Its lips will curl back exposing its teeth, it foams at the mouth and even gives off a bad smell. This is not really a trick of a clever animal, but an involuntary reaction designed and programmed into its behavioral traits.
We would suggest that this design speaks eloquently of a Designer who gave this animal a beautiful defense system to survive in a hostile world. No wonder its ugly face always seems to have a smile. Oops, I mean it’s cute face.
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