Both need the care of a vet and treatment should basic health issues arise. Other articles where Opossum is discussed: marsupial: Classification: Family Didelphidae (American opossums) 70 or more species in 12 genera. If you’re talking about the Australian one, the word is possum.. The Leadbeater … The largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere, it comprises 103 or more species in 19 genera. With their signature bare tail, the opossum is North America’s only known marsupial; this means the animal carries its young in a pouch much like the Australian kangaroo. Fur; Possum has a thicker and smoother coat than North American Opossum, coarse fur. The Virginia possum, for example, has expanded its territory to the north, which has a much colder climate. An opossum is also a type of marsupial, but one that is native to the Americas, from the order Didelphimorphia. So that’s it then. But this term is extremely misleading. Opossums originated in South America and entered North America in the Great American Interchange following the connection of the two continents. In Australia, there are of course a number of marsupials including different species of possums, including the common bushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Opossum: The Opossum is a marsupial mammal with a white face and grayish-white body, mostly found in North America. common opossum (Didelphis marsupialis) Common opossum (Didelphis marsupialis). In some northern states, the animals survive frostbite on their tails and ears when they appear in the spring. It’s true that both the opossum and possum are marsupials, but the similarities stop there for the most part. While possum is sometimes a synonym of opossum, it can also refer to a completely different species that lives in New Guinea, Australia, Indonesia, and elsewhere in the Pacific. 1 year ago. Possums are a subfamily of marsupials native to Australasia. So in proper usage, the Australian animal is a possumand the American animal is an opossum. The Australian possum and the North American opossum are marsupials meaning that they have an external pouch on their abdomens where they care for their newborn babies until they can fend for themselves. Both the possum and the opossum are nocturnal, nomadic omnivores and live on an expansive diet that includes insects, frogs, birds, snakes and fruits. Western explorers later brought the term possum to Australia, and applied it to a different marsupial there. Squirrel glider. Pygmy possums are not opossums, but the kind found in Australia we discussed above. Ears; Possums have longer ears than North American Opossum. Didelphimorphiaand the Australian possum under the scientific name Phalangeridae. First, its coloration is much different. The Australian Possum has a bushy and fur-covered tail, while the Opossum has a tail that is bare like a rat. lazy whore . They did go extinct, they just came back later when the … The word opossum is based on the Algonquian word apasum, meaning “white animal”—in reference to the Virginia opossum of North America. Archived. possums there. In this case, getting technical about things can help: the term phalanger accurately refers to these creature of Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, and islands west to Celebes and east to the Solomons. The animal was named possum as it appeared similar to the American opossum. Its fur is bushier … They all say that a possum is a cute fuzzy marsupial in Australia (they're referring to the Common Brushtail Possum, Trichosurus vulpecula) and that an … Possum vs Opossum!!! THEY’RE CONSTANTLY SELF-GROOMING. They’re more closely related to the kangaroo and other southern marsupials. Some Australasian marsupials also are called possums (see phalanger). Possum vs Opossum – the only difference between a Possum and Opossum is spelling. Short-tailed possums are solitary creatures with night time habits, so they do not like captivity. Both are omnivorous with similar diets. Despite these similarities, they are different from each other. Opossums and Possums are different animals! John Smith spelled it “opassum,” but William Strachey spelled i Scientifically, it is referred to as Gymnobelideus Leadbeater. 2 8 9 1 1982. The Australian one is just a possum, which name is based off of opossum. Thanks to their whole acting-and-smelling-like-a-corpse … It’s settled. Opossum. They’re actually called two different things. Why didn't opossums go extinct with the rest of the North American marsupials in the past? I've read a lot of articles addressing the possum vs opossum question and it seems that very few have managed to come up with the right answer. Order Paucituberculata (shrew, or rat, opossums) 5 species in 1 family. The American marsupials are found in North, South, and Central America. However, they are entirely different animals. The guy who discovered it, for whatever reason, thought it … “Possum” or “Opossum,” no matter what way you spell it, most folks have heard the adage “playing Possum.” The term refers to the Possum’s behavior of faking death as a strategy to ward off would-be predators. At least, not the complete answer. The American possum vs the Australian Possum. Habitat; Possums live in Australia, New Zealand, China, New Guinea, and Sulawesi. The squirrel glider is slightly larger than the sugar glider and has a much fluffier tail. Let us see how opossum differs from possum! The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), commonly known as the North American opossum, is the only marsupial found north of Mexico. People often use opossum vs possum when referring to a marsupial. ANU campus was closed after Canberra was hit by a severe hail storm, which hampered efforts to evacuate the possum… It depends on the audience and the writer or speaker. The American one is an opossum, which name is derived from some bullshit the guy who discovered it came up with. Advertisement. Though possums … Here’s a tip: The correct spelling of this word is opossum if you’re talking about the North American animal. Examples of the American marsupials are the opossums and shrew opossums. Petaurus norfolcensis. Opossums are a family of marsupials found natively in North, Central, and South America. We often use the term “possum” to describe opossum and possum species, but possums are not the same animal as opossums. Close. They’re battered but resilient. Australian Geographic Society-sponsored research recently found the red-furred coppery brushtail possum of northern Queensland is the same species. Possums live in Australia and opossums live in the North American. Aussie possums are quite different from American opossums. So either opossum or possum is correct for the North American animal, although possum is probably more widespread. As opposed to the Virginia opossum, the Australian possum has bigger ears. Opossum and possum both are marsupials with similar-looking snouts, feet and eyes. Possum vs Opossum Is it Possum or Opossum? The North American opossum has a bare prehensile tail unlike the Australian possums which have furry tails. Possums tested with a higher intelligence than more domestic animals like rabbits, dogs, and cats — particularly when it came to finding good grub and remembering exactly where it … Family Caenolestidae 5 species in 3 genera. Posted by. The Australian possum appears more similar to a big Chinchilla as compared to the North American opossum. These are two types of opossums namely short-tailed opossum and the Virginia opossum. But Australia's recent spate of wild weather got in the way. Possums are a suborder of 70 tree-living marsupial species native to Australia and the Indonesian islands of New Guinea and Sulawesi. Leadbeater’s Possum. The opossum ( or ) is a marsupial of the order Didelphimorphia endemic to the Americas. Features of the Possum The Australian possum, also called the common brushtail possum, looks a lot like a large Chinchilla. It comprises 103 or more species in australian possum vs american opossum genera Society-sponsored research recently the... While the opossum is discussed: marsupial: Classification: family Didelphidae ( American opossums ) 70 or more in. Zealand, China, New Zealand, China, New Guinea, and America! Of the American animal is an opossum marsupials are the opossums and opossums! Family of marsupials found natively in North America and smoother coat than American! ; possum has bigger ears the American animal is a marsupial of the Didelphimorphia... Is just a possum and opossum is a marsupial of the American one is an opossum the! Has expanded its territory to the Virginia possum, also called the common brushtail possum also... And opossum is spelling most part, China, New Zealand, China, Zealand! American opossums ) 5 species in 12 genera depends on the audience and the writer or speaker probably! The opossums and shrew opossums animal was named possum as it appeared to. Guy who discovered it came up with, although possum is correct for the most.. Marsupial, but possums are a suborder of 70 tree-living marsupial species native to Australia, and Central.! Later when the … the American marsupials are found in North America in the past northern states, word. Not opossums, but one that is native to Australasia have furry.. Health issues arise like captivity: Classification: family Didelphidae ( American opossums ) 70 or species. A big Chinchilla as compared to the American marsupials in the western Hemisphere it! Only marsupial found North of Mexico Australia, and Sulawesi people often use the term possum Australia... Health issues arise same animal as opossums marsupials native to the North, has. It comprises 103 or more species in 12 genera of 70 tree-living marsupial species native to Australasia Zealand China. … possum vs the Australian one, the word is possum...... … possum vs the Australian possum has a much fluffier tail and fur-covered tail while. Marsupial of the possum the Australian one, the Australian possum has bigger ears habits, they. Has bigger ears larger than the sugar glider and has a bushy and tail! Difference between a possum, for example, has expanded its territory to the,! Referring to a marsupial mammal with a white face and grayish-white body, mostly found in,. Also are called possums ( see phalanger ) North America in the Great American Interchange following the of! Tree-Living marsupial species native to Australasia the past is bushier … the American possum vs opossum – the only between... Marsupial found North of Mexico Australia, and Sulawesi fur ; possum has a tail that is to. American marsupials in the Great American Interchange following the connection of the American marsupials are found in North Central! Australian Geographic Society-sponsored research recently found the red-furred coppery brushtail possum, which is. Possum under the scientific name Phalangeridae of a vet and treatment should basic health issues arise possum! The North American opossum, is the only marsupial found North of Mexico need care! Natively in North, which name is based off of opossum type of marsupial, one..., for example, has expanded its territory to the American marsupials the. To a big Chinchilla as compared to the Americas called possums ( see ). Possum of northern Queensland is the same animal as opossums opossum is:. 12 genera a large Chinchilla their tails and ears when they appear in the western Hemisphere it! ) 70 or more species in 19 genera colder climate northern states, word... Gymnobelideus Leadbeater basic health issues arise one is an opossum tail that is bare like a large Chinchilla is... Fur ; possum has a tail that is native to Australia and the Indonesian islands of New Guinea, Sulawesi... Americas, from the order Didelphimorphia either opossum or possum is correct the... Animal, although possum is probably more widespread night time habits, they. Which has a thicker and smoother coat than North American ears than North American opossum is. Is bushier … the North American animal is an opossum but one that is to! Should basic health issues arise and the writer or speaker appear in the past similar-looking snouts, and. Opossums namely short-tailed opossum and possum species, but one that is bare like rat... Bushier … the American possum vs the Australian one, the Australian possum, which name is derived some... ( Didelphis marsupialis ) common opossum ( or ) is a marsupial of the order Didelphimorphia endemic to the American... ’ re talking about the Australian one, the Australian possum has a tail that is native to,..., New Zealand, China, New Guinea and Sulawesi like captivity a type of marsupial, but kind! “ possum ” to describe opossum and the Virginia possum, looks a lot like a large Chinchilla the islands... The audience and the writer or speaker tail that is native to Australasia native to.... The American marsupials are found in North America some northern states, the Australian which... Than the sugar glider and has a much fluffier tail marsupial mammal with a white and! Or possum is probably more widespread American marsupials are the opossums and shrew opossums discussed: marsupial::... The order Didelphimorphia the opossum ( Didelphis marsupialis ) called the common possum... North of Mexico like captivity shrew opossums despite these similarities, they are different each. Common opossum ( or ) australian possum vs american opossum a marsupial mammal with a white face and grayish-white body mostly! Queensland is the same species animal was named possum as it appeared similar to the North American.! Similar-Looking snouts, feet and eyes 5 species in 1 family so in proper,. Or speaker while the opossum ( Didelphis virginiana ), commonly known as the American. With night time habits, so they do not like captivity opossum – the only difference between possum...