Chicago Sun-Times
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Wild Tuesday: Another opossum view

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Retired naturalist Barry Laga had this take on Bill Anderson's toothy opossum.


The original Wild Thursday about the opossum above is posted here.

From Laga:

In defense of opossums from your Sunday "Mail Bag"

Opossums not only have teeth, but use them in a different way than most mammals. Humans, dogs, cats, raccoons, etc all have 32 teeth, but the opossum has 44 (I believe). They are very docile to handle and rarely bite, but when frightened, will not hesitate to show you all his extra teeth. For the most part, the intimidation factor usually works well!!

Unchanged on this earth for the better part of 50 thousand years, the opossum is natures "garbage-man". Eating a wide variety of whatever foods it can find. Slow, & unattractive (to some) seem to be the "possums" negative faults. They are mistaken for rats by most city folks. Their rear foot print resembles that of an infant (human) child. On the plus side, opossums rarely attack, do not tear up houses like raccoons, bark like dogs, or rip up bird feeders like them @#$%& squirrels!!

Not bad for being retired from the Lt. Red School House for over 10 yrs !

Pretty interesting.

And dead on about those ``@#$%& squirrels.''

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I let Bear out and as usual he bolted toward the backyard. A few seconds later he was barking at something back by the shed. I walked back to see what it was and Bear was wagging his tail as the opossum tried to take cover behind a couple tiki torches I have stacked up against it.

The last time Bear met an opossum, it laid down and played dead while he sniffed it. After a few minutes, Bear wasn't interested anymore and it left as soon as we went back in the house.

This one made a distinct growling noise and was not interested in being friends at all. When Bear moved closer to try to sniff it, it opened its mouth wider, and closed it as he backed off. I took Bear back in the house until the opossum left.

I hope the skunks stay away because Bear will try to make friends with them too.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on March 9, 2010 8:24 PM.

Wisconsin deer: Final hunting numbers was the previous entry in this blog.

Fish of the Week: 2010 record quest begins is the next entry in this blog.

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