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Why does an opossum hang by its tail?

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  • The opossum is at home in trees. It uses its prehensile tail to help stabilize position when climbing , much the same way as a mouse will use its tail to maintain balance when it climbs a wheat stalk to nosh on the grain. Opossums do not hang by their tails, though.
image-Why does an opossum hang by its tail?

Do opossums really hang by their tails?

  • The opossum's tail functions more like a mouse's tail. Like the mouse, the opossum will maintain a balance particularly when it climbs up into the trees. You know now that opossums do not hang by their tails . Unlike adults, the baby opossum can possibly hang by its tail for a second or two.

Why do opossums hang upside down by their tails?

  • Although often depicted in cartoons as hanging from their tails, the muscles in the 'possums' tail are not strong enough to support an adult's weight for more than a moment. Young 'possums are sometimes spotted dangling temporarily by their tails, which may be where the myth got started, but even juveniles don't hang upside down while sleeping.

Are possums dangerous to humans or pets?

  • Opossums become dangerous with their ability to transmit diseases to pets and people. Known to carry leptospirosis, tuberculosis, coccidiosis, spotted fever, tularemia, and other diseases, the pesky creatures pose serious health threats when they invade urban environments.
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