The Misunderstood Opossum
Opossums live their short lives running on instinct, scavenging for food, and hiding from all the “scary” things they encounter.
OPOSSUMS ARE SCARED OF EVERYTHING!
They are not very fast and can often get cornered by a person, dog, or other animals. The first thing they do it sit still thinking “maybe it won’t see me”, when that doesn’t work they open their mouth to show you all 50 of their sharp pointy teeth (great for cracking nuts and snail shells) they hope that when their attacker sees their impressive teeth the attacker will leave them alone. When this doesn’t work they puff up to look big and hiss (sounds like a cat hissing), hoping with all their might to be left alone.
THEY ARE BLUFFING!
When all of their bluff tactics don’t work, some Opossums get so freaked out that they faint! They actually pass out from fear. When this happens nature kicks in and sets off a scent gland that releases a horrible odour (to make them smell dead).
Smelling dead is good because if you are going to be helplessly passed out for a few hours you don’t want a passing Mountain Lion or other carnivores to eat you.
While Opossums are not the smartest of mammals, they are not worthless. Opossums clean up rotting fruit, keep pest species like snails under control, and play a valuable role in every ecosystem, even in the city.
All credit for this information goes to http://rememberwildlife.org/blog/opossums-misunderstood-fantastic-necessary