- Everyone has heard about "playing possum". It's a defense mechanism of the North American Opossum. If it's attacked by a predator, sometimes it completely passes out, and appears dead. It is the instinct of many predatory animals to shake and kill a critter that is moving or fighting back, but they often leave dead animals alone. How to tell if an opossum is truly dead? The only safe thing you can do is wait. Commonly after an hour, the ears of the Opossum start to move slightly. This is your indicator to know that it's an actor:) After four hours of stiff ears, you can be pretty sure that you are looking down on a dead animal. Playing dead is an involuntary response on the part of the opossum. The stress of the confrontation facing the opossum causes him to go into shock. This shock induces a comatose state that can last from 40 minutes to four hours. While "dead," the. Apparent death, colloquially known as playing dead, feigning death, or playing possum, is a behavior in which animals take on the appearance of being frvi4.net form of animal deception is an adaptive behavior also known as tonic immobility or frvi4.netnt death can be used as a defense mechanism or as a form of aggressive mimicry, and occurs in a wide range of animals. What do I do? There is an opossum in my house or garage. What do I do? How do I keep opossums out of my home and garage? There is an opossum in my attic or under my house or deck. What do I do? How do I trap and relocate an opossum? I saw an opossum on the road. What should I do? I think there is a dead opossum in my yard. What do I do?
More than likely, however, they will faint in shock at the prospect of such a confrontation. It has been used as a measure in the assessment of animal welfare, particularly hens, since Charlie Brumbaugh Place feed in troughs above the ground. Tonic immobility has been used to show that hens in cages are more fearful than those in pens,  hens on the top tier of tiered battery cages are more fearful than those on the lower levels,  hens carried by hand are more fearful than hens carried on a mechanical conveyor,  and hens undergoing longer transportation times are more fearful than those undergoing transport of a shorter duration. Some sharks can be induced into tonic immobility by inverting them and restraining them by hand, e. Please be advised that we are volunteer based and so there may be delays in answering email. Some people have suggested placing mothballs around, mothballs are toxic and if left outside will seep into the soil and into the ground water system, polluting the environment.
Thanatosis has also been observed in some invertebrates such as the wasp Nasonia vitripennis ,  and the cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus. Raising wild animals is not the same as raising a puppy or kitten. Home About. It has been observed that orcas can exploit sharks' tonic immobility to prey on large sharks. I saw an opossum on the road.
The possum was limp and lifeless. The opossum's guise of death goes so far as to produce a smell of decay. Get professional help: Visit my Nationwide Pro Directory of wildlife removal experts. Remove pet food and other attractants from your yard to encourage opossums to move on. Make sure there are no young left behind before sealing or the animals will die. Please understand that we can not accept email attachments due to the risk of a virus. Can I get Murine Typhus from an opossum? They prefer to avoid a fight if at all possible. Retrieved January 28,