This one was more interesting with better looking features, either it
was older, the other gender or it was sporting a winter coat. First
off, it tried to "play possum" on me....Well, it worked so well that I
have my doubts as to whether this is a conscious act on their part.
Based on the amount of shouting, hand clapping, cage shaking and the
lack of response from the critter, I'm convinced it's not conscious
while playing possum even if it's a self induced state.
It could also be an involuntary mechanism triggered by fear. Whatever,
the animal would have to undergo an extreme altered state of
consciousness if it was pretending IMO. Furthermore, people have cited
cases where they are run over by tractors and farm machinery while
playing possum so it seems that there isn't a conscious "one eye left
open" if this is some pretentious act of self preservation. In other
words, when a possum "plays possum" it lacks the shrewdness of a great
This one had shorter jaws and fluffy fur and reminded me of a bear.
Looked like something one would want to keep as a pet if these weren't
wild animals. It trembled when we approached the cage (except when it
was playing possum). I was also able to get a good look at its
prehensile tail. Here are some pictures;
(Warning: The one below is large and requires panning but gives closeup
(Closeup of tail only without the need to pan)