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Do Possums Eat Squirrels?

Do Possums Eat Squirrels?

By Mildred T Koerner on May 16, 2023

Possums and squirrels are two of the most common backyard creatures that can be found in North America.

They both have unique characteristics that make them fascinating to observe, but what happens when they cross paths?

Many people wonder if possums eat squirrels, and the answer may surprise you.

While it may seem like a strange question, understanding the relationship between these two animals is important for those who want to become experts on wildlife behavior.

In this article, we will explore whether or not possums actually do consume squirrels as part of their diet, and examine some of the other interesting facts about these often misunderstood mammals.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to dive into the world of possums and squirrels!

The Diet Of Possums

Did you know that possums are considered to be scavengers or opportunistic eaters?

This means they will consume almost anything they come across, including fruits, insects, small animals, and even carrion.

In fact, their diet is so diverse that it's difficult to pinpoint specific prey items.

However, certain studies have shown that possums tend to prefer a diet consisting of invertebrates such as beetles and cockroaches.

Although possums are not known for being skilled hunters like cats or dogs, they still manage to capture some small animals such as mice and birds.

They also often feed on the eggs of ground-nesting birds and reptiles.

When it comes to larger prey items, however, possums usually scavenge rather than hunt actively.

So if you're wondering what other animals do possums prey on, the answer is quite broad - essentially anything they can find!

But now let's take a closer look at one particular question: Do possums eat squirrels?

The Diet Of Squirrels

Squirrels are known for their diverse food preferences. They have a diet that includes nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, and sometimes even small animals.

However, the majority of their diet consists of plant-based foods like acorns, hazelnuts, and berries.

Their foraging behavior is also very interesting. Squirrels use both visual and olfactory cues to locate food sources in their environment.

They often store their food in caches or nests so they can access it later when resources become scarce.

Overall, squirrels are highly adaptable animals with an impressive ability to find food in various environments.

Understanding squirrel food preferences and foraging behavior is important because it allows us to better appreciate these creatures' unique characteristics.

In addition, knowing what squirrels eat helps us understand how they interact with other animals in their ecosystem – including possums. Speaking of which...

Interactions Between Possums And Squirrels

When it comes to the interactions between possums and squirrels, there is often a level of competitive behavior present.

Both species share similar habitats, which can lead to conflicts over resources such as food, water, and shelter.

Despite this competition, however, these two animals do not typically prey on each other.

The reason for this lack of predation may be due in part to differences in their diets.

Possums are omnivores that primarily eat insects, fruits, and small mammals like rodents. Squirrels are herbivores that mainly eat nuts and seeds.

Additionally, while they may compete for some of the same resources, both possums and squirrels have adapted to coexist in the same habitat without relying on each other as sources of food.

Transitioning into the topic at hand - It's important to note that just because possums and squirrels don't typically eat each other doesn't mean it never happens. So the question remains: do possums eat squirrels?

Do Possums Eat Squirrels?

Possums and squirrels are two species that often share the same habitat, leading to many questions about their coexistence.

One common query is whether possums eat squirrels.

While it's not unheard of for a possum to scavenge on a dead squirrel, predation between these two animals is extremely rare. Possums are generally omnivores who feed on fruits, insects, small mammals, and even carrion.

They have been known to consume smaller rodents such as mice or rats but usually avoid larger prey like squirrels.

Squirrels, on the other hand, tend to be herbivorous creatures who feed mainly on nuts and seeds rather than flesh.

Although there may be potential predation risks between possums and squirrels due to their overlapping diets and habitats, they typically do not view each other as prey.

Instead, they compete for food sources and nesting sites.

Understanding this dynamic can help us better appreciate the complexity of wildlife interactions in our environment.

In the next section, we will explore some other interesting facts about both possums and squirrels.

Other Interesting Facts About Possums And Squirrels

As we explore the behavior of possums and the habitats of squirrels, it's important to remember that these creatures are fascinating in their own right.

Possums, with their beady eyes and pointy noses, have a unique way of moving that has captivated scientists for years.

They're known to play dead when threatened, hence their nickname 'playing possum.'

But don't let this trick fool you – they can also be fierce predators when hunting for food.

Meanwhile, squirrels are notorious for their acrobatics as they leap from tree branch to tree branch.

These furry critters build nests high up in trees where they store nuts and seeds for winter survival.

While they may not seem like natural enemies, possums have been known to eat small animals such as rodents and birds.

However, there is no evidence suggesting that possums actively hunt or consume squirrels in particular.

So rest easy knowing that your neighborhood squirrel is safe from these marsupial hunters!


In conclusion, possums and squirrels are fascinating creatures with unique diets and behaviors.

While possums primarily eat insects, fruits, and small animals such as rodents and birds, squirrels mostly consume nuts, seeds, fruits, and fungi.

Although there have been rare instances of possums preying on young or injured squirrels, it is not a common occurrence.

These two species generally coexist peacefully in their natural habitats.

Learning about the diverse eating habits of wildlife can be both educational and entertaining, like peering into a treasure trove filled with surprises waiting to be discovered.


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