How Do Possums Sleep?

Selena N. B. H./Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Opossums are nocturnal and sleep during the day; they prefer to sleep in dark, quiet places, curled up in dens. Many people think opossums sleep hanging upside down in trees, but this is a myth.

Due to their shy nature, opossums are often the target of many unsubstantiated myths. Opossums are non-confrontational and pose little threat to the humans they live near. They will, however, attack if they feel threatened, and they appear to be as intelligent as rats or mice. Opossums are terrestrial animals, meaning they spend the majority of their lives on the ground. This means they can’t be found sleeping in trees upside down.

The opossum, often simply called a “possum,” is North America’s only marsupial, meaning they are in the same family as the kangaroo. The mother carries her babies in her uterus until birth, then carries them in a pouch on her stomach.