That possums and opossums are two different animals?
I found this information on page 21 in the book ABCs of Animals by Bobbie Kalman. They belong to different groups of marsupials. The Virginia opossum is the only opossum in North America. Pocket Babies and Other Amazing Marsupials by Sneed B Collard III explains more about the possum/opossum differences, and tells about other marsupials’ habits as well.
‘Playing possum’ is a handy trick these animals have learned to play. Tricky Opossums by Catherine Nichols explains how they can maintain this pose for up to 4 hours, blowing snot bubbles and stinky goo to really enhance their ‘dead-ness.’
While playing possum is considered a trick, it is not a magic trick. For those of you, who want some ‘real’ magic in their lives, check out the book That’s Magic by Richard Jones to learn 40 foolproof tricks!
How many times have we asked ourselves: “Is this real or fake?” (Remember the “Is it live or is it Memorex?” commercials?) For kids, we have the book 100% Pure Fake by Lyn Thomas which gives directions and recipes for some very gross fake-outs… brain pie, scars or blisters, and rotting skin. This book would be very handy for April Fools’ day or Halloween. For musicians there are many different Fake Books by Hal Leonard with melody, lyrics and simplified chords that will help you to easily expand your musical repertoire.
So, the next time you see an opossum cross the road you will know it’s not a possum! And, if it ‘drops dead’ you will know it really isn’t!