Opossums can't "play dead" on demand; it's an involuntary defense mechanism kicked in when they are scared. First, they will make a horrifying screech. If the predator isn't scared away, the opossum will become paralyzed and appear completely dead.
Opossums Don't Play Around
Share the knowledge!
Key Facts In This Video
Opossums are the only marsupials native to North America. 00:25
Opossums have two-pronged penises. 01:08
When "playing dead," opossums will peel their lips back, foam at the mouth, and give off a noxious odor from their anal glands. 02:00