Because they adapt so well to humans, it's pretty easy to see opossums in the Chesapeake watershed. But how easy is it to answer these questions?

1."An Opassum hath a head like a Swine, & a taile like a Rat, and is of the Bignes of a Cat." Whose observation is this?

A. Daniel Boone
B. Ben Franklin
C. John Smith
D. Daniel Webster

2. The opossum is a marsupial. Marsupials are considered primitive mammals because their ancestors existed during the age of dinosaurs. How far back are their fossils found?

A. 135 million years ago
B. 105 million years ago
C. 85 million years ago
D. 65 million years ago

3. Which of these is not a marsupial?

A. Bandicoot
B. Pangolin
C. Wallaby
D. Wombat

4. While opossums are now found in most of the lower 48 states, they were once mainly a creature of the:

A. North
B. South
C. East
D. West

5. When an opossum is frightened, its first reaction is to:

A. Hiss
B. Play dead
C. Show its teeth
D. Both A & C

6. Opossums rarely live longer than two years in the wild. How long do they usually live in captivity?

A. 3 years
B. 5 years
C. 10 years
D. 15 years

7. Opossums reach their maximum size at what age?

A. 1 year
B. 2 years
C. 3 years
D. As long as they are alive, they are growing larger

8. Opossums are born without:

A. Ears
B. Eyelids
C. Toes
D. Tongue

9. What is remarkable about the fifth toe on the opossum's hindfeet?

A. It is opposable, like a thumb.
B. It lacks a nail.
C. It is so strong and dextrous that the opossum can hang by its hindfeet in a tree or bush and gather fruit, berries and nuts with its forefeet.
D. All of the above

Answers to Possum Puzzlers

1. C 2. C 3. B 4. B 5. D 6. A 7. D 8. A 9. D