Thursday, June 28, 2007

Learn something new every day

From time to time, we see opossums around here. Today's Los Angeles Times has an interesting article about the gentle but misunderstood little critters.

I was bemused when I read this passage:

When threatened, the animal can look awfully mean, but it's all a big show. Opossums don't run or bite well. They're not very coordinated and, in Simon's words, they're not the most intellectual of creatures.

If the baring-teeth-and-hissing drama doesn't work, they feign death by entering a temporary coma. This strategy doesn't fool dogs and other large predators, according to Mary Cummins, a Los Angeles-based licensed wildlife rehabilitator and educator. She takes in 600 injured or orphaned opossums each year.


So, neither dogs nor my nine year-old are fooled by the "playing possum" trick .. but I was.

That's just a little embarrassing!

1 comment:

JennyE said...

Oh, that's funny!
Along the same lines, my cousin in Ohio returned home from a weekend vacation and upon opening her garage door was greeted by a possum. And it left. Then she got to worrying about possum babies left behind in her garage. Before it dawned on her that somewhere in her 10 college years plus high school, she learned that they are marsupials and carried the babies WITH them. She was never so relieved to have learned about that in her younger years. LOL!