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  • USA Wildlife Removal Education Guide - All about the opossum tail

All about the opossum tail

Most people will believe that the Opossum tail is only used for protection, but the key component of the Opossum’s body is much more than a protection tool. An average adult Opossum has an hairless, long and prehensile tail and can be used as an adaptive tool when grasping something. The animal can use the tail in grabbing food, or items for shelter, to its den. The animal itself is regarded as a marsupial mammal, and can also use its tail as a fifth limb when climbing on different surfaces. The animal can use its tail in conjunction with its sharp claws when digging into the back of trees

The Opossum’s tail can be used occasionally for carrying leaves, or sticks. When the animal uses its tail in climbing, the tail will simply serve as its fifth limb, thus making climbing and stabilizing of its body much easier. Many people are not aware of the fact that Opossums can use their tails in generating scents , which are used as a mark of territorial display. When an Opossum create a scent, it can be easily identified by other Opossums passing by , thus they may be force to relocate from the territory. Sometimes a female Opossum use the scent generated by male Opossum to find a mate.

Opossums can wrap their tails around tree branches just to remain stable on fragile trees. The animal can then use its stability to hop from one branch to another without falling off. The typical Opossum tail is quite long and boneless, however, the muscles around the tail are so strong that they can support the entire body of the animal on a tree branch or any other fragile material. In some cases, an Opossum may use its tail to signal to other Opossums around that there is danger lurking around. For instance, the presence of a predator such as large dogs, Coyotes and Raccoons may force an Opossum to send distress signals to other animals to stay clear of the area.

Opossum’s tail is generally flexible and can be waved at different angles, especially when the animal is active. When Opossums play dear, they flag down their tails , however, when the security threat is no longer around , the tail will be the first to stand before the rest of the body is lifted off the ground. Opossums do not use their tails to fight other animals.

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