Are Opossums Blind [Some Scientific Facts]

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Opossums are also known as possums. They sleep through the day and are awake at night like raccoons. There are many myths about their habits and physical abilities. One of such misconceptions most asked about is; are opossums blind?

Despite the common assumption, opossums are not blind at all. They have terrible vision during the day due to dilated pupils. That allows them to see more clearly in the dark. Opossums have dark pupils. Therefore, many people believe that they are blind.

Clear eyesight at night helps them locate food and shelter. Read the complete article to find more detail about the opossum’s vision.

Opossums Vision
Opossums Vision

Can Opossums See During The Day?  

Yes, opossums can be seen in the daytime. Even though they usually sleep during the day. They like to do things at night, which has helped them survive. 

However, they aren’t completely blind to the light, either. Due to a higher number of rod cells, which are more sensitive to dim light, their daytime vision may be less sharp than their nocturnal prowess. But they are far from being blind during the day. 

This ability isn’t very strong, but it does help them to hunt or find shelter during the day if they need to. This shows how adaptable they are. So, their world mostly comes to life when the moon is shining, but the soft warmth of the sun doesn’t make them unable to move. This shows how well-rounded their senses are and reminds us of the interesting complexity of nature.

How Far Can Opossums See?

Opossums have poor eyesight, despite their almost slow, unfocused walks and tendency for active behavior at night. Even having eyes that are sensitive enough to see in dim light. These animals depend more on their sense of smell and touch than their sight. 

In reality, opossums have a vision that is significantly less developed. Their eyesight isn’t perfect. But it’s good enough to help them find their way around during the nocturnal hours. Even though their eyesight isn’t very good, it works perfectly for them, helping them avoid danger and find food.

These mysterious rodents are the protectors of the night when the low lighting acts as a shield for them. Although the opossum’s low vision may seem like a drawback, it is actually a brilliant adaptation that helps them survive in the dark.

Are Opossums Color Blind?

Opossums, despite their importance in the animal kingdom, have always been unidentified to scientists. Color vision is one of the most interesting traits of these cute rodents. The evolution of nighttime behaviors raises the question of whether or not opossums can see colors.


Most scientists agree that opossums are dichromats. Dichromats meaning they can only distinguish between red and green. The retina of an opossum is made up mainly of rod cells, which are better adapted to low light and monochrome vision. Don’t have many cone cells, which are the forerunners of color perception in many species. Their narrow visual spectrum makes them largely color-blind compared to trichromatic species.

This apparent weakness has given them an evolutionary advantage in their dark surroundings. Opossums are selectively color-blind, which helps them survive in their own nighttime ballet, which takes place beneath the moonlight but looks muted to humans.

How Do Possums And Opossums See The World? 

The world appears very different when seen through the eyes of the possum and the opossum, two very different rodents. They each have developed unique sensory abilities to help them see their environments and survive in their natural settings.

The possum, a native animal to Australia, sees the world in vibrant   Its wider color vision allows it to take in all the vibrant colors of the Australian bush, creating an exciting kaleidoscope of life during the day.

However, the North American opossum only perceives one color. It is a nocturnal creature, thus its eyes are equipped with rod cells that let it see in the dark and figure out mysteries. The world of the opossum is a play of shapes and shadows, a beautiful glowing that doesn’t need color to make it more beautiful.

In a nutshell, possums enjoy the rich, bright beauty of the daytime, while opossums enjoy the quiet, understated beauty of the nighttime. This is a great example of how nature is so adaptable.

Where Do Opossums Go During The Day?


Generally, opossums rest during the day inside dens. They build their home in dark corners like hollow tree trunks, abandoned caves, burrows, buildings, and underbrush piles. They are nocturnal and will come out of their den at night.

A possum prefers living alone and will probably avoid other possums until it is the breeding season. The breeding season for possums begins in late October. In some circumstances, opossums do come out of their hiding during the day.

You might find a possum lying around in the street playing dead. If you find a possum during the day, it is better to leave it alone.

Can Possums See In The Light?

Yes, possums, the marsupials of North America and Australia, can be seen in both dark and light places. Possums cannot see in the light. Therefore, they avoid coming out of their den during the daylight.

Their eyes have something called the Tapetum Lucidum, which is a light-emitting layer behind the retina. This helps them see better in low light, which is useful since they are mostly active at night. It’s vital to note that they’re crepuscular. Crepuscular meaning they’re most active around dawn and dusk. 

Their eyes glow during the sharp light, such as the light coming from the cars. Therefore, many people assume that the possums are blind.

Possums might seem like they only come out at night, but it would be too simple to think they can’t see during the day. Their ability to change helps them survive in different light situations.

Can Possums Hear Or See?

Possums may not have the best eyesight, but they certainly hear very well and see well enough. This shows how well they can adapt their senses to the challenges of their surroundings.

Possums have an amazing ability to hear. Their big, cup-shaped ears are meant to identify a wide range of nighttime sounds, like soft rustles and echoes, that could warn them of danger or show them a good opportunity. This well-developed hearing often makes up for their less precise vision, giving them a balanced set of senses that helps them navigate and stay alive.

Possums are interesting animals that are often confused for their American cousins, the opossums. They do have ears and eyes that work. Their nighttime living has trained their senses to work well in low light. Even though possums’ eyesight isn’t as sharp as that of predatory birds. They’re still good enough to spot movements and forms in the dark.

Therefore, they mainly depend on their sense of smell to hunt for food and avoid predators. Astonishingly enough but the noise of an oscillating fan can scare them away.

What Kind Of Vision Do Opossums Have?

Opossums have weak vision or keen night vision. They cannot see clearly during the day, but their eyesight gets better at night; this phenomenon is called keen night vision.

Opossums need to see clearly at night as they rest during the day and are active at night. Some researchers also believe that opossums find it difficult to differentiate colors. 

After birth, opossums are blind for two to three months. During this time, they stay within the mother’s pouch. The baby’s opossums depend on a sense of smell to locate their mother.

How Do Opossums See?

  • Opossums have a special way of seeing because they are mostly active at night.
  • Their eyes are made up mainly of rod cells, which allow them to see better in dim light and focus on detecting motion rather than distinguishing colors.
  • This is a natural trait that helps them get around in the dark at night with great skill.
  • Opossums can see in the daytime, but their vision isn’t quite as good as it is at night. This is because of a change in the brain that makes it easier to see at night.
  • The information from their eyes and hair helps them figure out where things are in space, which is important for finding food and getting away from danger.
  • Their eyesight isn’t as good as some other animals, but their strong senses of smell and hearing make up for it.
  • Even though opossums have evolved to be good at finding their way at night, they have an amazing visual ability that lets them interact with their surroundings well whether the moon is out or the sun is out.

Do Possums Go Out Every Night?

The nocturnal lifestyle is characteristic of possums, both the North American opossum and its Australian relative. Possums are nocturnal. Therefore, they are active at night and sleep during the day. Weak eyesight during the day makes it impossible for them to search for food in the light. Opossums will come out at night and search for food, mate, or maybe shelter. They move at least a distance of fifty meters near the nest to search for food.

But saying they go out every night is too much. Their walks at night can be affected by many different things. In simple terms, their activity plan is flexible and changes based on the environment and how they feel.

For example, the changing of the seasons can have a major effect on their habits. Possums may choose to hibernate more during the winter months so that they can conserve heat. Their habits for finding food are also closely tied to the kinds of food that are available, which can change throughout the year.

Also, just like all other living things, possums need time to rest and heal. On nights after a lot of action or a close call with a predator, they may stay in their shelters. Possum mothers may alter their nighttime activities to care for their young. So, while possums usually move around at night, it’s important to remember that their behavior is not set in stone. Instead, it changes based on what’s going on around them.

What Time Of Night Is Opossums Most Active?

Since opossums are strictly nocturnal creatures, they survive during the overnight hours and early morning hours. As evening comes, the softening light and slowing heartbeat of the world call them out of their homes.

They like these nighttime hours because they are the perfect mix between the bright light of day and the dark of night. Typically, they come out as soon as sunset, at 6 p.m. At night their vision drastically increases compared to the day. Their eyes, which are used to seeing at night, can see best in this time.

Opossums use this time of night to go on their nocturnal hunts, where they look for food and protect themselves from predators using their highly developed senses. They move with nocturnal grace, recalling the natural cycles of night and day.

Around 8 a.m., as the sun begins to come out, they will leave to rest inside the dens as they cannot see pretty much anything in light.

Why Would An Opossum Be Out In The Daytime?

Since opossums are usually nocturnal, seeing one out during the day goes against what we know about them. These adaptable marsupials have their reasons for coming out during the day, which shows how tough and flexible they are in different situations.

The need for food could play a major role. If an opossum has a family to feed or can’t find enough food, it might start looking for food during the day. However, this makes it more at risk from predators.

Moving could be another reason. When people move into their natural environments, opossums often have to move around during the day to find new places to live. Also, illness or injury might change their normal schedule, making them more noticeable during the day.

It’s also important to know that young opossums who are still learning how to live at night may go out during the day. Opossums are typically nocturnal, so seeing one during the day is not only not alarming, but also indicative of how adaptable they can be.

What Is A Possum’s Vision Like?

Possums have sharp night vision and weak day vision. They cannot see things clearly in the light. For this reason, they avoid going out during day hours to search for food.  The possum’s eyes are an example of how cleverly nature can adapt to human needs, as they allow the animal to see better at night.

Possums are dependent on their olfactory receptors and sense of touch for hunting. Thankfully, they have a sharp sense of smell and can identify fruits, vegetables, animals, insects, and predators. 

They can see in the dark because their retinas are packed with rod cells, which are sensitive to light at very short wavelengths. But this change makes it hard for the possum to see colors clearly and in detail, which is a good trade-off for its natural niche.

The possum’s eyes work with the rest of its organs. Their big ears let them hear well, and their whiskers let them feel what’s going on around them. Together, these things give them a multi-sensory view of the world. So, even though possums have poor eyesight, they are very good at getting around in their surroundings.

What Color Are Possums’ Eyes?

Possums are curious animals that live in both Australasia and North America. The color of their eyes is a captivating site. Their eyes are usually a dark color that looks striking, like black or deep brown. Opossums’ eyes look large due to the dilated pupil that ensures clear vision at night. At night in automobile light or torchlight, you might notice their eyes reflect a red color. 

But it’s not just the color that gets people’s attention; it’s also the way it shines, which is especially noticeable at night. The Tapetum Lucidum, a shiny layer inside the eye that helps them see better in low light, is responsible for this glowing quality.

At night, possums’ eyes can emit a dazzling, ethereal light—usually a vibrant green, but occasionally with a tint of red or gold, depending on the lighting angle. This isn’t a change in color, but the effect of light on the Tapetum Lucidum, which makes their night vision even better. So, possums’ eyes may look dark during the day, but they come to life at night, when they give off a ghostly glow that helps them with their nighttime adventures.

Why Do Possums Go Cross-eyed?

Heidi, adorable and enthusiastic, a two-and-a-half-year-old possum, caught the eye of many people at Leipzig Zoo. Heidi and her sister, Naira, were not on display until May 2010 and were cared for in Valeria H. Schindler wildlife rehabilitation center.

When placed on show at Leipzig Zoo, she made many new fans. Heidi appeared normal and healthy but had crossed the eye, which made many fans wonder about her medical condition. 

Possums have cross eyes, and their eyes appear bulging due to fat deposition. It is more prominent in obese possums. It causes no pain or harm to their eye receptors and does not affect their visual function. 

Do Possum Eyes Glow?

Yes, under specific lighting conditions, the eyes of possums glow. due to which many people assume that they are blind. Possums have a reflective layer in the upper retina of the eyes. The layer; is called tapetum lucidum. It helps possums see better at night by reflecting the light into the eyes. This layer is the reason for the weak day vision of the possums. 

This strange but interesting glow shows how good they are at being active at night, making it easy for them to move around in the dark.

The light comes from a structure called the Tapetum Lucidum, a reflective layer behind the retina in the eyes of many night animals. Like a mirror, this feature reflects light back through the retina to boost the amount of light reaching the photoreceptors, improving the eyes’ ability to see in the dark. The eyes of a possum will often shine a brilliant green or, in rare cases, a shimmering red or yellow when exposed to bright light, such as that from a flashlight or car headlights.

Are Opossums Blind In Daylight?

It is a common misunderstanding that opossums cannot see in broad daylight because of a simplification of their complex sensory adaptations, however, this is not the case. In fact, opossums are mostly nocturnal and have tools like their reflective Tapetum Lucidum that help them do well in low light. However, they are not completely blind during the day.

Opossums can see and be active in daylight, however, their eyes aren’t as well adapted to the light as ours. Their sensitivity to light, however, makes them most active during dark and dawn, or nocturnal activity. They tend to be nocturnal since they find bright light disorienting and potentially uncomfortable.

How Good Is A Possum’s Eyesight?

Charming possums can be found all over North America and Australia, and their unique vision is a direct result of their nocturnal and crepuscular habits. Their eyes aren’t as advanced as ours because of sharpness or color discrimination, but because they’re so good at seeing in the dark.

A reflecting layer beneath the retina enhances possums’ night vision called the Tapetum Lucidum. This adaptation helps them move around, seek food, and avoid predators while the night is still young.

Their vision is noticeably worse throughout the day. Possums can appear less visually adept in bright light because it can disorient them. They don’t go completely blind in bright sunlight, but their eyes are better adapted to the low light levels of dusk and night.

What Kind Of Vision Do Opossums Have?

Opossums have a sort of eyesight that works wonderfully with their nocturnal and crepuscular habits. Their night vision is superior, but they may not have as good day vision as other animals.

The Tapetum Lucidum, a reflecting layer behind the retina, is present in their eyes. This clever design makes the light stronger and helps them see better in low light. This is good for a creature that spends most of its time in the world at night. It helps them find food and stay away from enemies.

Opossums, on the other hand, are not known for their ability to see colors. The available data suggests that they mostly see in blue and green tones, with reds possibly being perceived as grayscale. Even though their vision isn’t as good as some animals’. It works well with their other heightened abilities and helps them do well in their nocturnal niche.

Other Senses of Opossums

Opossums’ senses are well-developed, especially the sense of taste and smell. However, their hearing strength could be better. Usually, the possums are good at sniffing the air to judge the presence of food in their surroundings. Possums only eat once their senses have confirmed the food as being edible. 

Research by BMC genomics has revealed that possums have 1,188 genes allocated for the sense of smell. In comparison, tasting and hearing are much less developed. When it comes to touch, the possums feel their way around the things they hold. Opossums prefer eating snails, slugs, small insects, and fruits and seeds.


Opposite to what many believe, opossums are not blind. They have weak vision in light due to dilated pupils and reflective layers. Therefore, they cannot see during the day. 

Opossums are nocturnal. They are awake from dusk to dawn and sleep during the day. Their eyesight increases or gets better in the dark. The reflective layer and dilated pupil help them search for food and avoid predators. 

It is not entirely impossible to find opossums during the day. When there is scarce food, especially in winter, they go on the hunt during the day. If you find opossums wandering around day or night, it is better to leave them alone.