Discover Nature NotesMore posts

The Awesome Opossum

Aug 04, 2014

You don’t have to travel “down under” to see a pouched animal. Missouri has the opossum, a tree climbing, baby-on-board carrying, creature of the night.

Known by most folks as just plain “possums”, they are shy and secretive. Opossums are the size of a large cat with a long pointed face and hairless tail.

When bothered, they will feign death by “playing possum”. It isn’t really playing since they go into a brief nervous shock–then soon recover and head to safety.

Newborn opossums are blind and about the size of a jelly bean. They have claws on their feet which they use to climb up their mother’s fur to the security of her pouch, and later to ride on her back. They eat anything from insects to plants to garbage.

Did you know…

Learn more about opossums in MDC’s Field Guide.

Recent Posts

mistletoe berries

The Holiday Tree Thief

Dec 08, 2019

People have been stealing kisses under its branches for years, but in nature, mistletoe is the real thief. This parasite plant steals nutrients from trees. It also provides food and homes for birds and mammals. Discover where you can find it naturally in Missouri, in this week's Discover Nature Note.

kids birding

Christmas Bird Counts

Dec 02, 2019

You can help birds by joining Audubon's annual Christmas Bird Count.  These take place across the state and are part of the largest citizen-science effort in the United States.  Learn more about this important project and how birds are doing in this week's Discover Nature Notes blog.

turkey

The Thanksgiving Turkey

Nov 24, 2019

Wild turkeys are birds simmered in American tradition. Learn how they were restored, hunting tips, and how to prepare them from field to table in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Field Guide

Discovering nature from A-Z is one click away

Recipes

You had fun hunting, catching or gathering your quarry—now have more fun cooking and eating it.
Check out the recipes