Opossum vs. possum — Isabella’s student essay

Opossum Vs. Possum

The opossum, or previously known as the aposuom by American settlers and natives, resides in Northern America. Of the order Didelphimorphia, this furry marsupial has a white face and a grayish white body. The hair stops at the tail though, where it lacks the fuzz and instead opts for something more akin to a rat. Weirdly enough, the opossum is the only marsupial in all of Northern America.

Much like a kangaroo, it boasts a pouch used to carry its children. The opossum’s ears are quite small when compared to the possum, but like the possum it has an opposable thumb. Quite the invention if I do say so myself. This makes it easier for the opossum to provide for its diet. Although it may look like a little cloud, hugging one would likely inflict the opposite affect. Its hair is quite coarse and flat, more akin to a bale of hay than a fluff ball. This rough outer coat contributes well to the survival of this animal as it can stand the text of nearly any habitat it finds itself in. 

Though solitary and independent creatures, they often find themselves living in burrows that might even be under your own home. They can eat nearly anything as they are omnivores, which is quite important when one considers the large teat of younglings that require food. Overall, though cute as a button, they’re not suitable as house pets.


The possum on the other hand, is quite a bit different. Yes, they might share the same diet, but the possum resides in a completely different place. New Guinea, Indonesia, Australia and Pacific island house this completely furry creature. Belonging to the order Phalangeridae, the possum has much larger ears as well as a perceived mostly brown and gray color. 

Its fur is quite smooth and fleshy, bearing stark difference from the North American opossum. Possums as well, are generally seen as much “cuter” that an opossum. This is due to the less angular face of the possum. Though these two animals share some similarities, it’s apparent that these are two different animals. In a way, it reminds me of myself.

The difference between possum and opossum is a lot like my name. I’m Bella or… Isabella. Call me whatever you would like, really. It doesn’t really matter to me. But in my eyes, Isabella and Bella are two people that share a somewhat similar name. Bella is the me when I’m relaxed hanging with buddies. Her hair is messy, her sneakers are dirty, and her face is plagued with tiny imperfections and indents. She walks with a little bit of a slouch, is forgetful, but has a kind and sweet face. 

Isabella, on the other hand, is a little bit different. She’s a professional, hardworking, newly 18 year old woman. She’s the job interviewee, the college scholarship winner. Her face is clear, imperfections buffered out into a clean slate. Isabella is the opossum to Bella’s possum. Interchangeable as they might seem without a second thought, their differences are quite notable.

Author: Isabella Roy

University of California- Santa Barbara

Student Scholarships

Every year Thrive Pest Control hosts an essay contest and the reward is a 1-year scholarship at a 4-year university in the United States. This blog post is one of those scholarships.