Our stuffed opossum (sometimes called 'possum) mom and baby are so realistic, you may surprise your friends or loved ones when they see this charming duo! Our opossums are approximately life-sized, which helps to give that illusion. The mother opossum is 11 inches long from nose to rump, and her bare fabric tail adds another 12 inches when you pull it out straight. The tail is made to curl, and will pop right back into position. Also looking extremely real, the baby opossum is stitched right onto her back. Real opossum babies ride on their mothers' backs at this age. The body of the baby is 5 1/2 inches right down to its stitched pink nose (not seen in this photo); its tail adds another 3 1/2 inches, and has a crinkly curl built into the end. The baby's fur is soft and fuzzy, and is shorter than Mom's fur, as it's still a very young animal. Mom's toes are stuffed fabric, while baby's toes are cut out of flat fabric. The ears of both opossums have soft fabric inside and out. As with all of Fiesta's toys, this plush toy opossum pair meets the most stringent current standards of safety for children's toys. All parts are non-toxic and surface washable. Check out our other opossum toys and gifts. To find our other stuffed toy animals from Fiesta, or see our entire inventory of stuffed animals, stuffed beanies and plush hand puppets, check out our Stuffed Animals Page.
Didelphimorphia is the order of common opossums of the Western Hemisphere. They are commonly also called possums, though that term is also applied to some Australian animals. The Virginia Opossum is the original animal named opossum. The word comes from the Algonquian language. Opossums probably diverged from the basic South American marsupials in the late Cretaceous or early Paleocene. Their unspecialized biology, flexible diet and reproductive characteristics make them successful colonizers and survivors in diverse locations and conditions. Originally native to the eastern United States, the Virginia Opossum was intentionally introduced into the West during the Great Depression, probably as a source of food. Its range has been expanding steadily northwards, thanks in part to more plentiful, man-made sources of fresh water, increased shelter due to urban encroachment, and milder winters. Its range has extended into Ontario, Canada, and it has been found farther north than Toronto.
As with other small marsupials, the gestation period of an opossum is only about 12 to 14 days. The young are born at a very immature stage and must find their way into the mother's pouch. They live and feed inside her pouch until they are weaned at about 70 to 125 days. They cling to Mom's back until they are old enough to take care of themselves. Opossums are omnivorous, eating small animals such as insects, frogs, birds, snakes, small mammals, and earthworms. They eat carrion as well as garbage, but some of their favorite food is fruit. The most famous behavior of the opossum is "playing 'possum" when threatened or hurt. This is a completely involuntary response. The lips curl, the body stiffens, and a foul-smelling liquid is released, so a human or other animal might really believe the opossum is dead and leave it alone. It can even be picked up at this time and will resemble a dead animal. After a few minutes or hours, the opossum will again become animated and run away, hopefully having eluded the danger. Baby opossums will open their mouths, show their pointed teeth, and make a hissing noise if they feel threatened. Adult opossums do not hang from trees by their tails, but babies will sometimes hang from the mother's tail for a short time. An adult opossum will use its tail as a brace or an extra limb when climbing trees. They are usually solitary, will temporarily take over abandoned burrows, and prefer protection from the dark or dark areas, becoming active between dusk and dawn, and rarely coming into view during the day. Although many people consider opossums disgusting or a nuisance, they are essentially harmless and many people find them very cute. They are extremely interesting small mammals.