Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Opossum Playing Opossum

How exciting! My friend Jenice over in Moniteau County sent me this picture of a possum playing possum!

It happened on Monday—she told me the little marsupial had been snuffling up the uneaten seeds under her birdfeeder, when a friend had arrived with her dachshund, and the dog had, well, accosted poor little Tuffy under the birdfeeder.

With the following result.

Aww! It sure looks dead, doesn’t it. Think of it: A wee little wiener dog freaked out this scruffy wild animal! I suppose it is especially rude to be interrupted while dining, however . . .

You know, apparently when opossums “play dead,” they actually do kind of faint; it’s almost like a coma—they get so emotionally worked up, they lose consciousness. It’s not voluntary; they don’t control it. It’s one of their many defense mechanisms.

I’ve actually never seen this behavior in person. You know, even though I’ve claimed the “Opulent Opossum” as the name of my blog, I don’t have a long history of handling them, or even thinking they’re special . . . although as I wrote in one of my first posts, they really are nifty creatures, and worth naming a blog after.

And guess what! This is also my annual “Happy Birthday” post for my blog! I started the Op Op on March 3, 2009, so I’m embarking on my seventh year of this! (Boy, how time flies!)

Special thanks, and a big ol’ “Op, Op, Hurray!” to Jenice Taggart for sharing her photo with me! One of my favorite things about having this blog is that it’s connected me to so many great people, and she’s one of the best!


Action Pest | Commercial Pest Control said...

Opossums can really be nifty little creatures. This kind of defense mechanism they do is the kind of thing that makes you step back and think about how wonderful and intricate nature is.

Julianna Schroeder said...

Thank you for commenting. I see you're a pest control business in Australia. Do many Australian marsupials do the "play dead" thing? And are Australian marsupials (including your opossums) sometimes make nuisances of themselves? I assume they must, since you found this blog post . . . At any rate, I'm glad you see the beauty and wonder in nature--sometimes I think a lot of pest-control people try to encourage people to fear and hate animals. So good for you!

Best regards,