What is the difference between a possum and an opossum?

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Question from Miriam Bareli

Possums and opossums are both marsupials, but they are actually only distantly related. Possums are native to Australia and some of its surrounding islands, while opossums (pictured) are native to North America, making them the only marsupials that live outside of Australia or its surrounding islands. Confusingly, opossums are sometimes referred to as ‘possums’ in the US

Answered by Katy Sheen for Brain Dump in How It Works issue 110.

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