The Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), or “opossum” as it is commonly known, is a native mammal in Georgia. An adult opossum has 50 teeth, quite a lot, and is not afraid to bare them when scared or angry. Its tail is about a foot long and has very little hair on it. The tail is prehensile which means it is can be used to grasp onto objects such as tree limbs. On average, opossums can be expected to live about two years at best, with a substantial percentage dying before their first full year. Major causes of mortality include predators such as coyotes, dogs, bobcats, foxes, raccoons, and raptors, as well as human caused mortality through hunting, trapping, and vehicle strikes. Opossums are subject to a variety of diseases, though interestingly, rabies is exceedingly rare. Opossums are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plant and animal substances. They have even been known to kill and eat venomous snakes (opossums are remarkably immune to snake venom). Carrion (dead animals), garbage, and even young of their own species round out an opossum’s diet. Many people have heard of opossums “playing dead”. This unusual behavior is thought to have evolved as a defense mechanism against predators that seek out live prey. By lying still and feigning death in the face of perceived danger, perhaps the opossum is banking on being passed by rather than eaten.