Are Possum and Opossum Can Be Classified as the Part of Squirrel Species?
There are so many animals in this world that have something in common with each other. In plain view or appearance, maybe we will easily call them the same animal. However, more specific scientific studies are needed to test the differences or maybe the similarity of an animal.
If pursed, there are many rodents that resemble each other in the world. For example, the Guinea Pig might be classified as a Hamster for people who don’t understand. In the fact, they are totally different. The same case may occur in Possum and Opossum.
Possum is an animal that is often referred to as a pest for some people. This animal was first introduced to New Zealand from Australia in 1837 to build a fur trade. Possum has a thick, thick tail, thick body fur, a pointed snout and large, pointed ears. There are two forms of species colours, grey and black, with many variations in appearance. The Possum can walk, jump and be bound, and its thick tail helps it move around the tree branches. The size and weight of possums varies throughout New Zealand. Usually, adult Possums are 65 to 95 cm long and weigh 1.5 to 5 kg. Possum is nocturnal and can live anywhere where there is shelter and a varied supply of food. They are now widespread in most New Zealand. The main habitat is forests, and possum densities can be very high in podocarp broadleaf forests.
While the Opposition itself is a marsupial of the order Didelphimorphia endemic to the Americas. The largest order of marsupials in the Western Hemisphere, it comprises 103 or more species in 19 genera. The Virginia opossum generally has a white face with a greyish-white body, with black ears and feet and their fur is coarse. The opossum has sharp teeth like a cat, but the primary distinguishing feature of an opossum is its bare, rat-like tail.
Many people think that they are still a family with squirrels. Then are they the same? The answer is of course not. Here are some reasons why Possum and Opossum can’t be classified with squirrel species.
- As their look
Possum and Opossum are different from squirrel. In appearance, Opossum is bigger than squirrel. Their body shape is more elongated. Opossum has a pointed nose snout that is almost like a mouse while squirrel have a flat nose snout. In colour feathers, Opossum may be similar to squirrel because some squirrels have the same feather colour as Opossum. But in physical form, especially their faces, they are both different. Especially the shape of their tail. Opossum’s tail is very similar to mice, long and bald. While the shape of the tail of the squirrel has thick and curved fur. Squirrel tails will also be lifted when they move, unlike the tail of an Opossum which tends to fall when they move. Possum is also very different from squirrels. While Possum has big eyes. Similar to Opossum, the Possum has an advanced reddish nose snout. Both Possum and Opossum are more likely to be mice than squirrels even though they all live together in tree.
- As their genus
Of all the reason, maybe this point is the strongest why Opossum and Possum are not included in the Squirrel species. Let’s start with Opossum. Both Opossum and squirrel are included in kingdom Animalia. They are also included in the Phylum Chordata. In addition, both Opossum and squirrel belong to the Mammalia class. Then this is the difference. Opossum is included in the infraclass Marsupialia while squirrel enter the Scandinavian order. The last point might be to inform you more about the class differences between Opossum and squirrel. They may be a family but the essence is different. Then what about Possum with squirrels? Well, no further explanation is included in the genus or order of the Possum.
- As their existence
This might reinforce once more why Possum and Opossum are not squirrel species. Possum is a nocturnal species that is more active at night, while squirrel is not nocturnal. Meanwhile, in its country where they come from, Possum is considered a pest because it often makes a loss to some people, for example in cattle farmers who have to bear losses due to causing tuberculosis in cattle. Squirrel are not harmless to humans, but they can still be controlled while the Possum has a greater impact. Unlike Opossum, they are now becoming game for humans to eat. In their existence and its impact on humans, both Possum, Opossum and squirrels cannot be equated.
To reveal a species of living thing, of course scientists will be more authorized to explain to us. They have the basis of scientific truths that might break our wrong thinking which might already have become a culture in our society. But, having a scientific basis doesn’t mean that it can be used as an excuse to rob other people of their right to take part in the opinion, right? Not that our opinion is without the right basis, but we have the most basic way of observation, namely by observing and analyzing. Visibly the eye can be ascertained significantly Opossum and Possum cannot be identified as squirrel species. Maybe in a move, place of life, and their kind, they are all rodents. But that doesn’t mean they are a species, right?
Further research may explain in detail including their real similarities and differences. But our opinion as lay people didn’t mean completely wrong. The researchers will also observe their visible movements. The researchers will examine more deeply like the arrangement of their organ and DNA, of course not everyone is authorized to do this.
Whatever the species, they have the right to live. Even though they are considered pests, even though they are considered pets, they have the same right to get a good life. Balancing the ecosystem might help problems that are often caused by Possum. And for Opossum, please don’t hunt them too much. Eating them might be considered cool but still maintain the balance of their population.