Opossum – 10/12/10

Observer: Richard Mandell

Observation Date: 10/12/10

Observation Time: dusk

Observation Location: Mountain St.

Common Name: Opossum

Scientific Name: Didelphimorphia

Comments: Opossums are voracious eaters that will try anything they find. Surprisingly, opossums eat ticks by the thousands. Ticks, particularly the black-legged ticks like deer ticks that are responsible for the spread of Lyme disease, appear to be a top item on the opossum’s menu. Several years ago, biologists put opossums and other species, like chipmunks, squirrels, mice, and catbirds to the test, giving each animal 100 ticks to eat. Opossums ate far more ticks than any other animal, leading scientists to estimate that just one opossum eats, on average, 5,000 ticks each year.

More Information: The National Opossum Society