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Opossums belong to the family Didelphidae, they are marsupials that are mainly native to America. Though originating from South America, they have also been introduced to North and Central America. They like to live around water bodies like swamps and streams. Opossums are wild animals, hence they naturally occur in forests, grasslands, farmlands, wetlands, and so on.
Due to human encroachment into their natural habitats as well as their depleted food sources, opossums have steadily moved into urban and suburban areas over the years. A lot of them now live around human dwellings and even inside houses when they can get in.
In nature, opossums are nomadic. They frequently move from one place to another in response to several factors, except during cold weather when they stay in a place for an extended period to get warmth.
For one, they move around because they forage for their food and they will only stay where food is available. And once the food is no longer available, they move on to the next stop. Their movement is also an adaptive behavior to escape predation, as they try to confuse the predators as to their whereabouts. Only female opossums with young would stay in the same place for a long period of time.
Opossums live inside burrows, where they take shelter, mate, breed and feed as long as food is within reach. These burrows are often situated in cool, dark, and quiet areas; this is because they are nocturnal animals and they spend the day sleeping, so they avoid possible intrusions.
In many cases, a single opossum lives in more than one burrow. It moves from time to time from one burrow to another. These burrows can be situated under a porch, or inside attics, sheds, rock cavities, old buildings, brush piles, logs, hollow stumps, fallen trees and so on.
Although they are capable of doing so, opossums do not make burrows for themselves. They would rather live in the abandoned burrows of other animals such as groundhog, skunks, foxes etc. Opossums only gather nesting materials like twigs and leaves into the burrow to make it comfortable. Females in particular use their mouths and fore paws to collect things that would make the nest comfortable for the babies.
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