Are Possums Rodents? [The Myth and the Truth]

Possums look like little mice but with very angry faces. Being the natives of Australia, the Indonesian islands of Guinea, and Sulawesi, these species try to live in dens in forests or woody areas. 

The round bodies of the possums with thick coats can make you confuse them with rodents. So, is a possum a rodent or do they just look like it? No, possums are not rodents! 

We know it’s a new truth to you, and so, we will explain in detail how these two are different. 

Are Possums Rodents?

Are Possums and Hamsters Both Considered Rodents?

Yes, the hamsters are rodents truth. While possums may look similar to hamsters, they are not considered rodents. Possums are marsupials, while hamsters are classified as rodents due to their gnawing habits and continuously growing incisors.

Is a Possum a Rodent? 

The loud and clear answer is- no, possums are not rodents. They are marsupials and completely different from rodents. The orders are different for both of them. 

While the order of rodents is from Rodentia, Possums are from Diprotodontia order. Rodentia is the largest order of mammals and Diprotodontia is the largest order of marsupials. 

Possums are the very family of kangaroos, koalas, wombats, wallabies, etc. There are about 70 species of them in this world now. Possums look a lot like rodents but are not rodents. 

On the other hand, the confusion between possums and opossums is also very common. But the clear note is they are not the same either. 

Both of them are marsupials where possums are from the Diprotodontia order and opossums are from the Didelphimorphia order. 

Why Possums are not Rodents 

Yes, they look similar but there are quite a lot of differences between the rodents and the possums. Here, we will brief a few differences so that you can understand why they are different. 

  • Breeding

Firstly, the way they carry their young is a factor that can show clear differences between any rodent and possums. Possums are known for carrying their underdeveloped young in a pouch just like the kangaroos. 

However, rodents are not like them. Rodents give birth to live babies that are fully formed. The way they both carry their children is different. 

  • Incisors 

We all know that incisors are a very important part of the rodent family- this is one of their very major features. The rodents have constantly growing teeth or incisors. 

These keep growing and they gnaw to get rid of them and keep them sharp. On the other hand, the possums have large incisors on their lower part. This shows it is that rodents and possums are not the same. 

  • Feet 

The foot structures of the rodents and the possums are different. Rodents have front paws that include four toes and the rear one has five. 

If you check the hind rodent tracks, they will be close side-by-side. Also, their front feet don’t align much. Compared to rodents, possums have unique hind feet. Their feet are just like a hand and the hind foot looks like a thumb. 

Wrap Up 

While the placid nature of the possums makes them different as they try to keep away from any other species, you can confuse them for opossums. 

Keep in mind that the tail isn’t the indicator of possums because they have bushy tails just like the rodents. And on the contrary, opossums inherit bare tails. 

About Dale E. Bitting

He is the founder of Rodents Info, where he provides comprehensive methods, tips, tricks, and techniques to keep harmful rodents at bay from homes and landscapes. As a rodents expert, he shares valuable information and resources to help safeguard properties against unwelcome critters. Dale is also passionate about nurturing and caring for harmless pet rodents. He offers pet parenting guides, tips, and advice to ensure these furry companions live happy and healthy lives. Join him as he explores the fascinating world of rodents and celebrates the joy they bring to our lives. Learn more..

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