If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Chicago Sun-Times)   Truths about opossums - nature's sanitation engineers   (suntimes.com) divider line 57
    More: Interesting, waste collector  
•       •       •

5221 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 Aug 2011 at 11:06 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



57 Comments   (+0 »)
   

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2011-08-12 01:57:47 AM  
If confronted, they fall over, start drooling, emit a musky odor that smells like decay, induce diarrhea and slow their breathing so it appears to have stopped,

Much like a fanboy being introduced to a hot babe at Comic-Con.
 
2011-08-12 02:10:46 AM  
Quite timely, smitty, we've had one paying occasional visits to our garage. Looking to discourage it but not harm it. forgot we had pet food - sealed by not to THAT nose.
 
2011-08-12 05:34:42 AM  
But they don't hang by their tails, according to Leslie Bale, wildlife rehabilitator and president of the Opossum Society of the United States, which has about 300 members. Their tails can't support their weight.

There was an odd noise in my basement a few years ago. When I went to look, a possum was hanging by its tail from a water pipe.
 
2011-08-12 06:57:43 AM  
A family of oppossums live near my home and visit us almost every night. The mother likes to stand with her front paws on the glass door and just watch us.

It's probably time I learned how to balance a ball on my nose.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2011-08-12 08:36:34 AM  
One comes by on rare occasions at night to see if there is any leftover bird seed. Once I said "hi" and it ran away. Opossums are shy. Raccoons are friendlier.
 
2011-08-12 09:35:21 AM  
Had some youngsters show up a couple years ago. While the house cats will chase just about anything (birds, lizards, beetles, moths. dragonflies, mice), they just sat and watched the little guys eat out of a bowl of dry cat food -- maybe 'cause they moved so slowly.
 
2011-08-12 10:20:51 AM  

ZAZ: One comes by on rare occasions at night to see if there is any leftover bird seed. Once I said "hi" and it ran away. Opossums are shy. Raccoons are friendlier.


I stopped putting bird seed out when the opossum and racoon in my back yard started working together. One would climb the pole and knock seed down for the other. Then they would swap.

The squirrels I can deal with. But I threw in the towel in the face of inter-species cooperation.
 
2011-08-12 11:08:15 AM  
I see them dead, all the time, in the city. Where the hell are these 'possums living in the city?
 
2011-08-12 11:11:33 AM  

Jake Havechek: I see them dead, all the time, in the city. Where the hell are these 'possums living in the city?


The opossum is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!.
 
2011-08-12 11:11:52 AM  
Truths about opossums

If you see one that looks dead, make certain that it's actually dead before you try to fark it. They have really sharp teeth.
 
2011-08-12 11:13:41 AM  

ZAZ: Opossums are shy.


Yes, they are, but I had one walk up to me recently and sit on my foot. He was a calm as could be. Never had that happen before, but then he's been hanging around for quite awhile and I don't harass him, so he probably feels safe.
 
2011-08-12 11:14:06 AM  
There used to be an albino skunk in Allston, MA, but I'm sure it's dead by now.
 
2011-08-12 11:14:47 AM  

Jake Havechek: There used to be an albino skunk in Allston, MA, but I'm sure it's dead by now.


Cool story, bro
 
2011-08-12 11:16:30 AM  
Why do reporters keep using the phrase "razor sharp teeth?" Have any of them actually handled a razor?
 
2011-08-12 11:18:04 AM  
Possums are awesome. They can't catch rabies and eat the dead. They prevent corpses from piling up and creating the possibility of some sort of plague. They're also sweet. We've had a couple trundle in through the pet door. They just poke around a bit, exploring and then leave. If I need to get them out on my own time table, I gently sweep a broom at the visitor. Out he goes. I hate seeing them dead in the road. Don't use your car as a deadly weapon, people. Try to avoid running down and killing anything while you're out driving.
 
2011-08-12 11:18:42 AM  

Sin_City_Superhero: Truths about opossums

If you see one that looks dead, make certain that it's actually dead before you try to fark it. They have really sharp teeth.


I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that's the wrong end.
 
2011-08-12 11:20:38 AM  

Lunaville: Possums are awesome. They can't catch rabies and eat the dead. They prevent corpses from piling up and creating the possibility of some sort of plague. They're also sweet. We've had a couple trundle in through the pet door. They just poke around a bit, exploring and then leave. If I need to get them out on my own time table, I gently sweep a broom at the visitor. Out he goes. I hate seeing them dead in the road. Don't use your car as a deadly weapon, people. Try to avoid running down and killing anything while you're out driving.


Squirrels are more of a nuisance.

/hates them
 
2011-08-12 11:20:59 AM  

Xcott: Why do reporters keep using the phrase "razor sharp teeth?" Have any of them actually handled a razor?


My sister has raised dozens of opossums; I've had cats bite me worse than those guys.
 
2011-08-12 11:21:07 AM  
I think I might have seen one crossing the road late at night, but I'm sure I was pretty drunk at the time. Looked like a fur covered rugby ball just scooting along.
 
2011-08-12 11:21:27 AM  

Diogenes: ZAZ: One comes by on rare occasions at night to see if there is any leftover bird seed. Once I said "hi" and it ran away. Opossums are shy. Raccoons are friendlier.

I stopped putting bird seed out when the opossum and racoon in my back yard started working together. One would climb the pole and knock seed down for the other. Then they would swap.

The squirrels I can deal with. But I threw in the towel in the face of inter-species cooperation.


that's too funny. One time, a squirrel came inside our house and begged for food.
 
2011-08-12 11:21:54 AM  
Every 2 years I get something possibly rabid that I have to kill when it comes into the yard, we have cornfield on 2 sides of the yard. Last year was a possum, usually it's wacked out raccoons. After some research after the fact, it might not have been rabid, but it sure looked suspicious. 10 ft around it was covered in peepee, slow movement, hissing, and lots of drool. It didn't move when I got within 5ft of it. I figured all of that, plus with our dogs, cats and kids that play in the area, it had to go.

/hopefully off of the hook for this year...
 
2011-08-12 11:24:40 AM  
www.possumcounty.com
 
2011-08-12 11:26:49 AM  
My Oldest brother had a pet Opossum which he adored. Those things are ugly, smell bad, and have a lousy disposition. The possum and my brother loved each other because that shared those qualities in spades!
 
2011-08-12 11:26:52 AM  

Diogenes: inter-species cooperation.


Mammals will work together to put one over on the humans. Rats will work as a team to try to push the bricks holding your trash can lids on.
 
2011-08-12 11:27:01 AM  
farm3.static.flickr.com
 
2011-08-12 11:28:56 AM  
Thread is lacking the "found cat" poster.

We have possums come up and eat the cats food at night. Things can get nasty sometimes when they scrunch up, bear their teeth and hiss. They don't always go with playing possum right off the bat.

Strange to think the proper/original pronunciation for it is acually "oh-possum." Just one of those words that has changed in general use over time.
 
2011-08-12 11:29:49 AM  

Lunaville: Try to avoid running down and killing anything while you're out driving.


No goddamn way am I going to swerve to avoid a goddamn possum. Goddamn things always switch directions at the last second just so they can get goddamn squished by my goddamn wheels anyways, leaving a goddamn mess on the goddamn road.
 
2011-08-12 11:30:28 AM  

i.r.id10t: [farm3.static.flickr.com image 360x480]


Lol, fine work, sir!
 
2011-08-12 11:31:25 AM  
i944.photobucket.com
 
2011-08-12 11:33:44 AM  

Lunaville: Possums are awesome. They can't catch rabies and eat the dead. They prevent corpses from piling up and creating the possibility of some sort of plague. They're also sweet. We've had a couple trundle in through the pet door. They just poke around a bit, exploring and then leave. If I need to get them out on my own time table, I gently sweep a broom at the visitor. Out he goes. I hate seeing them dead in the road. Don't use your car as a deadly weapon, people. Try to avoid running down and killing anything while you're out driving.


Opossums are way too slow. Cats are much more fun to try hitting with a car.
 
2011-08-12 11:39:47 AM  

MisterTweak: Quite timely, smitty, we've had one paying occasional visits to our garage. Looking to discourage it but not harm it. forgot we had pet food - sealed by not to THAT nose.


Just read the article one down about the breast baring woman, then your comment. Nearly pissed myself laughing.
 
2011-08-12 11:42:42 AM  
I havent read the entire thread but it should also be noted that Possums are quite tasty. If it has been noted carry on if not they are.

/Hungry now
 
2011-08-12 11:43:46 AM  

Jake Havechek: I see them dead, all the time, in the city. Where the hell are these 'possums living in the city?



Um, they're not dead. They're doing some instinctive thing -- I think it's so well known that there's even a phrase for it. I think it's called, 'acting ytmmr's girlfriend when he wants some.'
 
2011-08-12 11:52:13 AM  
"...they fall over, start drooling, emit a musky odor that smells like decay, induce diarrhea and slow their breathing so it appears to have stopped,"

Sounds like my ex-husband.
 
2011-08-12 11:54:46 AM  

Jake Havechek: There used to be an albino skunk in Allston, MA, but I'm sure it's dead by now.


A hipster or frat boy probably tried to capture it for a pet
 
2011-08-12 11:55:20 AM  
".......Rosebud......"
www.suntimes.com
 
2011-08-12 11:56:52 AM  

AbiNormal: ".......Rosebud......"
[www.suntimes.com image 240x352]



That thing's actually kind of cute.
 
2011-08-12 12:02:28 PM  
Thems good eatins
 
2011-08-12 12:08:02 PM  
 
2011-08-12 12:20:31 PM  

ytmmr: Jake Havechek: I see them dead, all the time, in the city. Where the hell are these 'possums living in the city?


Um, they're not dead. They're doing some instinctive thing -- I think it's so well known that there's even a phrase for it. I think it's called, 'acting ytmmr's girlfriend when he wants some.'


Sometimes if a opossum finds itself near a road when the sun comes up and traffic picks up, it will get scared and play dead until things quiet down. So that dead opossum on the side of the road may not actually be dead.
 
2011-08-12 12:25:44 PM  
We EAT them! Make them into stew!
 
2011-08-12 01:06:51 PM  
i86.photobucket.com

This is Leery! He's a cutie.

He's a lot bigger now.
 
2011-08-12 01:07:31 PM  

sprag: Sin_City_Superhero: Truths about opossums

If you see one that looks dead, make certain that it's actually dead before you try to fark it. They have really sharp teeth.

I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that's the wrong end.


Don't judge me.
 
2011-08-12 01:07:39 PM  
When did they become opossums? It was just possum when I was growing up. Opossum makes them sound like they're Irish or something.

c181321.r21.cf0.rackcdn.com

/Just watched that episode last night, still one of the best ones in Season 3.
 
2011-08-12 01:14:25 PM  
CSB: Years ago I used to work in a small office with a somewhat exciteable older woman. One day she came in to work terribly upset - there was a wildebeest in her back yard! Seriously, that's what she said. Pressed for details she explained that when she went out in her yard to feed the birds there was this huge creature that hissed and growled at her. She'd never seen such an animal in Eastpointe (MI) before - it must have been an escaped wildebeest! Based on her description of the animal I and another co-worker assured her that it was probably an opossum. No, no it was much too big to be a 'possum, plus it hissed! It growled! I ended up calling the veterinarian at the Detroit Zoo to confirm (for this lady's peace of mind) that pregnant female opossums can appear to be quite large indeed. I shared this story at home that night for a laugh and forgot about it.

The next morning we received a fax on State of Michigan letterhead from the Department of Natural Resources. It warned that there had been sightings of wildebeests in some eastern suburbs of Detroit and that residents should be on the lookout. Co-worker was trimphant with her "I told you so's" until I looked at the sender's fax number in the margin. It had come from my brother's office, where he had apparently had a little cut-and-paste fun with Michigan government letterhead.
 
2011-08-12 01:46:22 PM  

Diogenes: ZAZ: One comes by on rare occasions at night to see if there is any leftover bird seed. Once I said "hi" and it ran away. Opossums are shy. Raccoons are friendlier.

I stopped putting bird seed out when the opossum and racoon in my back yard started working together. One would climb the pole and knock seed down for the other. Then they would swap.

The squirrels I can deal with. But I threw in the towel in the face of inter-species cooperation.



Saw a similar thing happen between a possum, 2 raccoons and a group of cats that my cat lady neighbor fed. Couldn't believe my eyes. At one house I lived in, I had to resort to putting a 50 lb rock on top of the garbage cans to prevent the team from knocking it over.
 
2011-08-12 01:57:21 PM  
Last year we watched one scrape up dry grass into a ball, wrap her tail around it, and walk off. If I could have a few more do that I'd never have to rake the yard again! : )
 
2011-08-12 02:17:54 PM  

Lunaville: Possums are awesome. They can't catch rabies and eat the dead. They prevent corpses from piling up and creating the possibility of some sort of plague. They're also sweet. We've had a couple trundle in through the pet door. They just poke around a bit, exploring and then leave. If I need to get them out on my own time table, I gently sweep a broom at the visitor. Out he goes. I hate seeing them dead in the road. Don't use your car as a deadly weapon, people. Try to avoid running down and killing anything while you're out driving.


TFA left out many weird possum facts:
They live only 1-2 years in the wild, just long enough to reproduce. They die early for a mammal of their size not only because of predators and cars but because they experience senescence (old age) very quickly.

The male has a bifurcated penis, the female has a bifurcated vagina.

Gestation is only 12-14 days before they birth them and the embryo-like things crawl out of their mom's vagina and try to make it to her pouch. Most don't make it. It's a lot to ask from a 6-gram wormlike thing conceived less than 2 weeks prior.

Opossums have a freakishly low body temp but with a wide range of "normal", 90F-99F. That barely counts as "warm blooded" due to both the lack of regulation and capacity for extremely low temps. They don't normally carry rabies or distemper, they believe the body temperature simply gets too low for viruses to survive, but no one's really studied it.
 
2011-08-12 02:39:12 PM  

angry_scientist: Every 2 years I get something possibly rabid that I have to kill when it comes into the yard, we have cornfield on 2 sides of the yard. Last year was a possum, usually it's wacked out raccoons. After some research after the fact, it might not have been rabid, but it sure looked suspicious. 10 ft around it was covered in peepee, slow movement, hissing, and lots of drool. It didn't move when I got within 5ft of it. I figured all of that, plus with our dogs, cats and kids that play in the area, it had to go.

/hopefully off of the hook for this year...


It is possible for an opossum to get rabies, it is just that they are VERY resistant, so the rate of incidence is very, very low. So low nature and cars probably take care of them before their behavior results in humans identifying them as possibly rabid.

/wildlife biologist
//used to work with oposums as well as raccoons in grad school
 
2011-08-12 02:58:36 PM  

Oznog: Lunaville: Possums are awesome. They can't catch rabies and eat the dead. They prevent corpses from piling up and creating the possibility of some sort of plague. They're also sweet. We've had a couple trundle in through the pet door. They just poke around a bit, exploring and then leave. If I need to get them out on my own time table, I gently sweep a broom at the visitor. Out he goes. I hate seeing them dead in the road. Don't use your car as a deadly weapon, people. Try to avoid running down and killing anything while you're out driving.

TFA left out many weird possum facts:
They live only 1-2 years in the wild, just long enough to reproduce. They die early for a mammal of their size not only because of predators and cars but because they experience senescence (old age) very quickly.

The male has a bifurcated penis, the female has a bifurcated vagina.

Gestation is only 12-14 days before they birth them and the embryo-like things crawl out of their mom's vagina and try to make it to her pouch. Most don't make it. It's a lot to ask from a 6-gram wormlike thing conceived less than 2 weeks prior.

Opossums have a freakishly low body temp but with a wide range of "normal", 90F-99F. That barely counts as "warm blooded" due to both the lack of regulation and capacity for extremely low temps. They don't normally carry rabies or distemper, they believe the body temperature simply gets too low for viruses to survive, but no one's really studied it.


You could have had a lot of fun writing up a bunch of ridiculous made-up 'facts" and I wouldn't have known the difference. "Really? They can levitate when the 19 minute drum solo from inna gada davida is played?".

\bifurcated PENIS
 
Displayed 50 of 57 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all



This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report