Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
5Trip End Mar 22, 2011
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I got the distinct impression this park host thought this opossum was cute . .. hmmm . .
Opossum diet mainly consists of carrion and many individual opossums are killed on the highway when scavenging for roadkill. They are also known to eat insects, frogs, birds, snakes, small mammals, and earthworms. Some of their favorite foods are fruits. Their broad diet allows them to take advantage of many sources of food provided by human habitation such as unsecured food waste (garbage) and pet food.
When threatened or harmed, they will "play possum", mimicking the appearance and smell of a sick or dead animal. This physiological response is involuntary, rather than a conscious act: sometimes baby opossums' brains do not react, therefore they do not "play dead". When "playing possum", the lips are drawn back, teeth are bared, saliva foams around the mouth, and a foul-smelling fluid is secreted from the anal glands. Their stiff, curled form can be prodded, turned over, and even carried away. The animal will regain consciousness after a period of minutes or hours and escape.
Before the tram ride the tour guide explains the difference between horns and antlers. Horns being made of the same material as fingernails and antlers being very fast growing bones that are shed each year.
The buffalo is the largest land animal in North America.