7 Difference Between Possum and Raccoon with Similarities

What is the difference between possum and raccoon?

Possum and raccoons are urban mammals. These furry pests can adapt to different environments due to their capabilities to eat a variety of foods.

The main difference between possum and raccoon is that the former is a tree-dwelling Australasian marsupial with a prehensile tail while the latter is a greyish-brown American mammal that has a foxtail face with a black mask and a ringed tail.

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Comparison Table (Possum vs Raccoon)

Basic Terms Possum Raccoon
DescriptionIt is a tree-dwelling Australasian marsupial that has a prehensile tailIt is a greyish-brown American mammal that has a foxtail face with a black mask and a ringed tail
FamilyDidelphidaeProcyonidae
HabitatAustralia and the Indonesian islands of New Guinea and SulawesiEaster North America
ReproductionMarsupial mammalsPlacental Mammals
Gestation Period16-18 days63-65 days
Offspring1-2 offspring2-5 offspring
Lifespan15 years2-3 years

What is a Possum?

Difference Between Possum and Raccoon

It is an Australian marsupial mammal that comes in four different colors. The most popular colors are brown, gold, black, and silver-grey.

The name is derived from North American Opossum due to their close similarities. The mammal belongs to the family of Phalangeridae.

These creatures are of the same size as cats. They have a long and thick tail with a prehensile tip. These mammals are solitary and nocturnal which makes them love living close to human beings.

Possums are classified into brushtail and ringed tail. The latter is smaller and has a curled tail with a white tip. The most popular type is the ringed tail possums.

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What Is a Raccoon?

Difference Between Possum and Raccoon

It is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. The main habitats of raccoons have deciduous and mixed forests with mountainous terrain. But these mammals prefer urban settings.

Raccoons can adapt to different environments due to their wider food sources. The creatures have black and brown fur. South Florida raccoons have cinnamon-colored fur with black color around the eyes.

Raccoons have alternating light and dark rings on the tail. These mammals do not engage in sex-specific social behavior. Male live together in a group of four-five animals while females share common areas.

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Main Difference between Raccoons and Possum

  1. Possum belongs to the family Didelphidae while the raccoon belongs to the family Procyonidae.
  2. Raccoons live in North America while possum in Australia and Indonesian Island
  3. Possum is a marsupial mammal while raccoon is a placental mammal
  4. The gestation period of the raccoon is about 63-65 days while that of a possum is about 16-18 days
  5. Raccoon give birth to 2-5 kits while possum give birth to 1-2 kits
  6. Possum has a longer lifespan than the raccoon

Similarities between Possum and Raccoon

  1. Both are urbanized mammals with rat-like body
  2. Both have the body covered with fur
  3. Both are furry pests
  4. Both show nocturnal behavior
  5. Both are omnivores
  6. Both prefer living in areas near water
  7. Both male species are larger than their female counterparts

In Conclusion

Both possum and raccoon are omnivores. The main difference between raccoon and possum is described in terms of origin, physical features, and reproduction. We hope the information in this article was helpful.

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