Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Mighty Opossum...!

Mother Nature takes care of Her creations in some marvelous ways!

Any animal that can make itself immune to nearly any snakebite has my respect! He may be ugly, but if we all had his immune system, we would be much better off, I'm thinking! Wonder if this ability would work against Zombies?

Self-immunizing Opossum

The most well-known defensive trait of the common North American opossum is its overwhelming instinct to simply fake death when confronted with danger. This is called Thanatosis, and while somewhat effective against predators other than cars, it just sometimes isn’t enough. That is why opossums were also created with a protein called LTNF (Lethal Toxin-Neutralizing Factor) that all but makes them immune to the venom of snakes, bees, and scorpions. The way this works is just as it sounds: Once venom is detected within the opossum’s body by the protein, it actively seeks it out and sets to work neutralizing it. Amazingly, the marsupial is not only granted immunity to local snakes, but also to snakes on other continents with which it has never had contact.

Interesting note: The LTNF protein has been injected into rats, and has apparently been successful in granting the rodents immunity to otherwise lethal venoms.

Ugly or not, this little guy might have some enduring qualities we could share. Hey...just saying!

Let's have our coffee on the patio this morning. My cat has gas, and the fresh air is necessary, if you get my drift!


Gorges Smythe said...

Sort of makes you wonder why it isn't being pursued for human use doesn't it? Oh, that's right, they're ugly!

Anonymous said...

That is amazing. I wonder how opossums developed this trait.

Phyllis (N/W Jersey) said...

Our roads are covered with them - but the babies are so cute! Maybe they can figure out a way to use that LTNF for humans. Every animal and bug is here for a reason, even spiders. And gassy puddy tats.
47 here and raining, so your patio will be extra nice!

Unknown said...

My cousin had an opossum for a pet. She found it abandoned and raised it from a baby. When it was small enough it would hang by it's tail from your finger. Hope the cat feels better. Probably have my coffee in the kitchen since I still can't work the door knob to open the door. :)

Randall said...

Amazing, never gave the critters much thought other than bad at crossing roads. God bless em. Thanks Jim for the welcome to your kitchen. Coffee, in front of talking heads this morning. 60' outside, rain a coming.

linda m said...

Usually the only place I see them is "roadkill". Never gave them any thought. That is a very unique trait though. Coffee outside sounds good to me. I love "fresh" air.

JO said...

Didn't know that fact. Thanks of course we are wondering why they haven't used it in humans yet.

Still can't shake this nasty head cold so I will opt for tea again please. Missed my boat trip today.

Caddie said...

Um, think I'll pass on the coffee today. Say Hermit, what did Miss Kitty eat?

HermitJim said...

Hey Gorges...
He's not alone in the ugly department. I've seen many folks who's looks would stop a clock!

I'm sure that someone somewhere is studying the chemicals to adapt it to humans.

Thanks for coming over this morning!

Hey Anon 7:05...
Just a nice gift from Mother Nature, I reckon!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Phyllis...
I know that they are all here for a reason, but some of them I could do without!

Hey, thanks for coming by today!

Hey Roslyn...
Gotta watch those greasy door nobs, for sure!

I had a baby 'possum when I was younger also! Quite the pet!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Randall...
I've seen so many here in Texas, I forget that a lot of folks don't see them much.

They sure are good at playing dead!

Thanks for joining us this morning!

Hey Linda...
Like so many of wild critters, they are very good at staying out of sight! When you get close to one, they hiss just like a cat! They have some wicked looking teeth, that's for sure!

Thanks for dropping by today!

Hey Jo...
Sorry that the cold is lingering on. Hard to shake this time of year!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming over today!

Hey Sissy...
Buddy is a tom! As far as what he ate, he'll eat just about any bug or lizard he can catch, as well as birds. Cat food (dry and canned) butter and bread...you name it!

He can sure pass some gas once in a while, although it doesn't seem to bother him!

Thanks for coming by today!

Sixbears said...

They are ugly as sin. That's one animal we don't have around here. Southern NH has them, but they often suffer from frostbite of the tail and ears.

Of course, we don't have poisonous snakes either.

Bob Mc said...

I never knew that about possums and snake bite, but they seem to be immune to just about any kind of rotten garbage they eat. If a buzzard can handle it, I think a possum can too.

commoncents said...

Always learn something when I visit!

Keep up the great work!!

Common Cents

chinasyndrome said...

Jim,i think possums are about one o the ugliest critters God created! By like all God's critter pretty amazing indeed!