What Is the Difference Between a Possum and an Opossum?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 13, 2020 10:14:19 PM ET

Possums and opossums are both medium-sized marsupials. While sometimes opossums are called possums for short, the two groups live on different continents, are not closely related, and have very different teeth and paws. Opossums are native to North and South America, while possums are from Australia and surrounding islands.