The North American opossum, also known as the common opossum or Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), is a marsupial found in North America. Opossums probably diverged from the basic South American marsupials in the late Cretaceous or early Paleocene.
They are commonly known for their ability to “play possum” which is an act that an opossum will react in a way to make it seem as though they are dead. This is done as a defense mechanism to keep predators from attacking them, even if the opossum is already injured or sick.
Opossum tattoo meaning and symbolism can relate with men and women alike.
As the Texas Parks and Wildlife said, The opossum is a solitary animal, mostly nocturnal but adaptable to various habitats.
The opossum is active only at night, and is a solitary animal. They have an eclectic diet and will eat both plants and animals, including rodents, young rabbits, birds, insects, crustaceans, frogs, fruits and berries, and vegetables. Texas Parks and Wildlife
Opossums are not monogamous animals, and both parents care for their young.
There are few positive representations of the opossum in North American popular culture, though it is frequently mocked for its perceived unsavoriness, as in the videogame “Conker’s Bad Fur Day”.
In some American southern states, opossum hunting is a favorite pastime. Hunters refer to the opossum as a walleye or graywolf due to its similar appearance. In these regions of America, many hunters have been known to eat roasted possum when they are finished hunting.
So, what’s the meaning behind Opossum tattoos ?
Opossum tattoo meanings and symbolisms are full of life.
Opossums have an excellent immune system, which is why many people find them to be a symbol of good health in general for themselves, especially with their uncanny ability to “play possum” in order to protect themselves. They can contain the bad within them and come back to life in a sense when they need to.
The opossum’s ability to “play possum” often gets it mistaken for being dead when it is actually hiding from predators in plain sight.
As inkedmag said about this matter :
Possums are best known for playing dead, which is an adaptive behavior used as a defense mechanism or aggressive mimicry
This makes the opossum a symbol of faking death or deceiving ones enemies into thinking that you are dead in order to get an upper hand when it comes to confrontations with others.
A small opossum tattoo meaning can mean defying death. The large ones though are known for carrying diseases, so it can also be a warning or even boast about being able to survive through or tough situations where many others would not be able to. If the opossum has its mouth open, this is a symbol of defiance and strength, because it would be displaying its defensive weaponry to an opponent.
Large opossum tattoos are often seen as boastful or defiant in nature. It can also show your adaptability to changing situations that may occur in ones life. This is why many people use the opossum as a symbol for their ability to survive through hard times or situations.
Opossum tattoos are also seen on the arms of those who have struggled with drug addiction, due to its bold nature and almost “un-killable” quality. A connection is made between the resilience of the animal and that of someone overcoming an addiction.
The opossum is also the state marsupial of Virginia, USA. Opossum tattoos are often associated with someone from or living in that region, but can be customized to fit anyone’s personality if it means something personal to them.