Take 5: Awesome Opossums

Opossums may sometimes look fierce and unlovely (especially when “playing dead” to deter predators), but they’re actually very clean, non-destructive animals that tend to keep to themselves.

And even better, they LOVE ticks. As they wander the forest, they pick up ticks like most mammals do. But their excellent grooming habits, strong immune systems, and affinity for munching on the disease-prone parasites allow them to kill more than 95% of the ticks that try to feed on them. By some accounts, up to thousands per week!

To show our appreciation for opossums’ important role in protecting our health, take a look at five opossum photos from our Picture This: Your Great Outdoors Photo Contest.

Have a great wildlife shot of your own? Enter the 2017 Photo Contest today!

Virginia Opossum © Simeon Wood

Virginia Opossum © Simeon Wood

Virginia Opossum © Laurene Cogswell

Virginia Opossum © Laurene Cogswell

Virginia Opossum © Paul Silvestri

Virginia Opossum © Paul Silvestri

Virginia Opossum © Chris Lang

Virginia Opossum © Chris Lang

Virginia Opossum © Jacqui_McGee

Virginia Opossum © Jacqui_McGee

2 thoughts on “Take 5: Awesome Opossums

  1. Bev Teal

    Wow! I’ve seen opossums in my neighborhood and they’re pretty scarey looking. I knew they were nocturnal, but didn’t know that they were clean, not-destructive and ate ticks. When I’ve seen them in my back yard they’ve run away and I’m happy about that. I’m glad they’re ridding the area of any ticks.

    Reply

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