Do Possums Eat Snakes [Some Interesting Facts]

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Believe me or not, Possums are your friends. They are best at saving you from the snakes that lurk in your backyard. Now you must be wondering “Are these big rats good for something? Are they predators of snakes? Do Possums eat snakes?” To your surprise, yes, it’s all true!

Possums are known to eat snakes and can digest them easily. It is all because Possums are immune to the venom of the majority of snake species. For food, Possums don’t only rely on snakes. They only choose to hunt snakes if they are easy to catch or are found dead.

Do you know you will find no more snakes near your home once you have possums around? The idea that possums eat snakes isn’t a new concept; it’s a well-known fact. If you want to learn more about the potential interaction between snakes and possums, here you go!

Do Possums Hunt Snakes?

Possums are efficient predators of many creepy crawlers like spiders, worms, lizards, and snakes. In fact, in some states, possums are even considered a natural method of pest control specifically when it comes to getting protection from ticks and snakes.

Possums usually don’t go after snakes because they don’t like to be on the lookout for food all of the time. They have a lot of dietary options because they are omnivorous scavengers.

So when their stomachs are full, the crawling snakes and spiders don’t attract them. They prefer to feed on roadkill rather than hunt a rodent or snake for food.

However, if there aren’t enough suitable food options, then possums jump into the ground without any fear and show their hunting talents to their fullest. They are not just born to fight snakes but have mastered the art of killing, devouring, and easily digesting these deadly creatures.

They have sharp teeth to rip open the snake’s skin and kill them by ripping out their insides. So no wonder people call them “snake-hunters” sometimes!

Do Possums Eat Poisonous Snakes?

Snakes are always seen as a threat and a source of fear for all other organisms because they possess a devastating weapon, snake venom.

However, there is a creature that is not known to be threatened by even the lethal rattlesnakes, and that creature is none other than the Possum.

Possums have no fear of poisonous snakes because they are immune to the venom that snakes use to kill their prey. During an encounter when snake poison fails to work on possums, the snake eventually loses the struggle and the possums enjoy their victory feast.

However certain snake species like a cobra (Elapidae family), have different chemicals (neuro-toxins) in their venoms that can’t be resisted by possums and can lead them to death.

Is Possum Immune To Snake Venom?

Sharon Jansa and Robert Voss, mammalogists, have released a study on a Possum’s serum protein which explains the opossum’s venom resistance trait.

Pit vipers like rattlesnakes and water moccasins have venom that targets the blood coagulation mechanism which leads to internal hemorrhage; one of the most distressing complications caused by a snake bite. 

Jansa and Voss investigated the emergence of a venom-targeted clotting protein known as von Willebrand Factor (vWF), across the whole Didelphidae family of opossums.

Studies have revealed that from the evolutionary beginnings, the vWF of snake-eating opossum species has acquired more alterations than the vWF of possums that don’t eat snakes.

Natural selection has been acting on vWF for millions of years, and there is adequate proof for it. Jansa and Voss identified many distinct alterations in snake-eating opossums and discovered that they are linked to an area of vWF reported to be associated with one of the poisons found in pit viper venom.

Is Opossum Serum Used For Making Snake Antivenom?

Researchers have discovered that a peptide present in Possum’s blood could be crucial in combating the consequences of snakebites around the world.

Experiments have proved that anti-venom drugs based on a protein found in opossum blood could provide the cheapest, natural cure for snake bite sufferers.

Possums have built-in resistance against several snake venoms. According to the research publication of B.V.Lipps, LTNF (Lethal Toxin Neutralizing Factor) is a protein that is found in Possum’s serum.

LTNP is a natural antidote to fatal venoms and toxins produced by a variety of microbes, plants, and animals that enables Possums to become immune to the lethal poison of snakes and other organisms. 

Do Possums Prefer To Eat Snakes?

It’s true that Possums never hesitate to attack, kill, and eat a snake. However, keep in mind they are not fussy eaters. Being lazy omnivores, they are known to eat almost everything that is easily available.

Whether there are ripening fruits spilled in your garden or a chance to get their hands on carrion, these slow-moving critters would rather search for ready-to-eat food than expend their energy in a long process of chasing and hunting a snake to satisfy their hunger.

They only demonstrate their hunting skills when they are in desperate need of food and there are no easy and adequate food options around.

10 Snake species possums love to kill and eat 

Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)


In the wet and marshy areas of the southern United States, you’ll find a snake known as the Cottonmouth. This snake’s skin is a mix of dark green and brown colors. Its name, Cottonmouth, comes from the inside of its mouth, which is white like raw cotton. The snake’s world comes alive when the sun goes down, and another creature enters the scene: the hungry possum.

The possum isn’t afraid of the Cottonmouth, even though it’s poisonous. Instead, it sees the snake as something tasty to eat. The possum is always looking for different kinds of food, just like a musician might listen to many different kinds of songs. The relationship between the possum and the snake is like a dance, each trying to catch or escape the other. In this marshy, wet place, staying alive is the most important thing.

Eastern Coral Snake (Micrurus fulvius)


The Eastern Coral Snake is a beautiful and dangerous creature with bright red, yellow, and black colors. These colors are a warning sign that says, “Stay away!” This skinny snake has a poisonous bite that can be deadly.

But in the wild world of nature, the possum doesn’t worry about the Coral Snake’s poison. The possum can naturally resist most snake venoms, so it sees the Coral Snake as something good to eat, not a threat.

The way the possum takes on the Coral Snake is brave and daring, like a writer who doesn’t follow the usual rules but instead tells exciting and brave stories in the light of the moon.

Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)


The Garter Snake doesn’t have bright or fancy patterns like other snakes. Instead, it has simple stripes in green and brown colors that help it blend into grassy and wooded places.

This camouflage helps it stay safe from animals wanting to eat it. However, the possum, a smart animal that knows the woods well, sees the Garter Snake as a tasty treat. For the possum, eating the Garter Snake is like enjoying a simple but good story.

They don’t have big fights. It’s more like a calm dance in a sunlit forest. It’s a reminder that nature has many small, quiet moments that are just as important as the big, loud ones.

Rat Snake (Pantherophis obsoletus)


The Rat Snake is a long snake with brownish scales. It’s a helpful snake for farmers because it eats pests like rats, helping to control their numbers. The Rat Snake often hides in barns or fields, so many people might not notice it.

But the possum does! To the possum, this snake is familiar and loved like a favorite old song. With its sharp sense of smell and love for different foods, the possum thinks the Rat Snake is delicious.

Their relationship is a story as old as time: one animal becomes food for another. It’s a reminder of the circle of life, where endings create the chance for new beginnings.

Black Racer (Coluber constrictor)


The Black Racer is a fast-moving snake that can easily hide among plants and bushes. Its name, “Black Racer,” tells us about its quick speed and dark-colored skin. It’s like the stories we hear about things that move so fast we can barely see them.

But even though the Black Racer is quick, the possum is not afraid to try and catch it. The Black Racer is like a hard puzzle or a tricky game to the possum. It’s a fun challenge. When the possum tries to catch the Black Racer, it’s like watching a fun game of chase under the trees where the sun shines through.

Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus)


The Rough Green Snake is a bright green snake that often rests on tree branches. Because of its color, it can hide really well among the leaves. It’s calm and moves gracefully, reminding us of peaceful old stories about forests.

But the possum always looks for food and sees this snake as a special treat. When the possum spots the Rough Green Snake, it thinks of stories where the hero finds a hidden treasure. Using its sharp senses, the possum is happy to find and eat this beautiful snake. Their relationship is classic in nature: one animal trying to catch another. It’s a dance that happens every day in the wild.

Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttatus)


The Corn Snake has beautiful colors like orange, red, and brown, making it look like the colors of fall. Even though some people might think it’s dangerous because of its colors, it’s actually a calm snake that moves quietly, especially when the sun is setting.

When it’s getting dark, the possum comes out, always curious and looking for new things. To the possum, the Corn Snake is like a story from a long time ago, full of interesting details.

The possum, which likes to eat many different things, thinks of this snake as a special meal. Their relationship is like an old story where there’s always something new and surprising happening in nature.

Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platirhinos)


The Eastern Hognose is a unique-looking snake because of its nose that points up. It has a special trick where it pretends to be dead if it feels threatened, acting so well that it could win an award for its performance.

Most animals might get tricked by this act, but the possum knows better. To the possum, the Hognose is like a play with lots of surprises that keep you guessing. The possum, always interested in different foods, sees this snake as another interesting meal.

When they meet, it’s not just about one animal trying to eat another. It’s like watching a play in nature where you never know what’s going to happen next.

Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus)


The Ribbon Snake is a thin, pretty snake that often moves near water. It has long, thin stripes and looks like a ribbon that moves in the wind. Even though it’s quick and good at catching small water animals, it sometimes becomes food for the possum at night.

To the possum, the Ribbon Snake is like a beautiful song that reminds it of wet areas under the moonlight. When they meet, it’s like a short, exciting story where the possum isn’t just looking for food and enjoys the hunt.

Red-bellied Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata)


The Red-bellied Snake has a simple brown or gray top but a bright red underside, making it a mix of quiet and bold colors. This small snake usually hides under leaves, keeping the secrets of the forest ground.

But the possum, being very good at finding things, often spots this hidden snake. To the possum, the Red-bellied Snake is like a quiet, old story that has exciting parts. When they come together, it’s like a dance where sometimes one hides, and sometimes one shows up, showing the many interesting sides of nature.

Do Possums Eat Copperheads? 

Yes, possums might eat Copperheads. In the woods, there’s an interesting relationship between the possum and the Copperhead snake. Even though the Copperhead is a venomous snake with a unique hourglass pattern that many animals are afraid of, the possum isn’t scared at all.

They can do this because they have special proteins in their blood that protect them from the snake’s venom. This unusual friendship between the possum and the Copperhead is a mix of surprise and curiosity, where something that seems dangerous becomes food.

Do Possums Eat Rattlesnakes? 

Yes, possums eat rattlesnakes. Most animals run away when they hear the Rattlesnake’s warning sound. But not the possum. Instead of being scared, the possum is curious and might even consider the rattlesnake food.

This is because the possum has a unique ability to resist snake venom. When these two meet, it’s like a surprising story where the usual roles of hunter and hunted might change. The things possums eat are like stories full of surprises that make us wonder and want to know more.

Do Possums Eat Dead Snakes?

They are widely known for being scavengers. They accomplish their cleaner’s duty in an environment by cleaning debris and feasting on carcasses and carrion.

That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised if you see a possum eating a dead snake. In fact, Possum considers it a better option than exhausting himself by chasing and hunting a live snake.

Are Snakes Afraid Of Possums?

Whenever there is a need, hunting even a poisonous snake never makes a big deal for possums. Their resistance against snake venom gives them the confidence to fearlessly hunt and devour a snake.

Possums are recognized as a threat by the majority of snakes, particularly smaller ones like garter snakes and water moccasins.

Snakes are afraid of possums because of their immunity against venom, thus they avoid regions where they can smell their presence.

If you are living in a region with a variety of snakes, then a possum’s presence is no less than a blessing. Snakes are sophisticated creatures that can easily identify the presence of their adversaries in their immediate surroundings.

Most snakes are aware that possums have great resilience to snake venom, making them difficult to beat or kill. That’s why, for their safety, their innate inclination tells them to stay away from possums.

What Defenses Do Snakes Have?

Do you believe that shooting venom into the predator’s body is the snake’s only protection mechanism? What about snakes who are powerless because their poison doesn’t work on other animals, just like possums?

The fact is in addition to venom, snakes frequently use defensive signals and postures to warn predators away.

The majority of snakes used to hiss, which is a scary sound they use to threaten other creatures.

Rattlesnakes are notorious for vibrating their tails and generating a rattling noise to ward off predators.

Few species like Gartersnakes emit a musky odor when they detect danger. An unpleasant odor will alert a predator or a nearby enemy, causing them to lose interest in the snake.

Some non-poisonous snakes imitate poisonous snakes to fool their predators.

Protective measures consume energy that could have been better spent elsewhere, such as in search of food. That’s why if the snake finds a possibility to escape without expending much of its energy, it will prefer to swiftly crawl away from its predator and save its life.

Are Possums Scared Of Snakes?

Possums don’t always prey upon snakes, but can also be preyed upon by larger snake species. That’s why not all snakes are terrified of possums.

Possums are effective at repelling smaller snakes such as copperheads and rattlers.

However, they can also be a source of attracting larger snakes towards them such as King cobras and Pythons. Possums serve as a good source of meal for them and are unable to defend themselves against these massive beasts.

Certain snake species are also known to pose a serious threat to possums. Possums are most likely to be harmed by the venom of Elapid and Coral snakes that can harm the possum’s nervous system.

Possums are very well aware of the species they cannot overcome and are scared of them. That’s why you won’t see possums going after these creepy snakes all the time.

These lazy creatures don’t pick their prey randomly. Instead, they are smart enough to choose their battles wisely.

Are Opossums Good To Have Around?

Possums are beneficial to have around if you have snakes in your surroundings. You might not like them because of their fierce looks that make you scared or because they create a mess in your yard.

But in actuality, possums are good at eliminating snakes from your yard, especially if you live on the eastern side of the country. They help to keep snakes at bay because Possums are one of the most effective predators of snakes.

They can kill and consume even the deadliest snakes without fear because of are resistant against the majority of snake venom.

Possums have a bad reputation for being “pests” since they are known to damage crops, eat garden fruits, and mate with poultry. However, Possums aren’t that much harm to humans.

They do provide benefits in terms of keeping your home and yard secure from pests such as ticks and snakes, which can cause significant damage to the property belonging to humans.


The Possum is one of the most unappreciated and misunderstood animals on our planet Earth. Despite making our surroundings safe by consuming everything from ticks to snakes, these clever critters are rarely being appreciated for working as free pest control agents.

On the other hand, Possums’ blood contains a natural anti-venom component that protects them against snake bites. Opossum blood peptides are used as an inexpensive and efficient remedy for snakebite sufferers.

In comparison to the mess Possums create, their benefit of keeping harmful pests away and producing an antidote against snake venom always takes dominance and proves them to be one of the best helpful creatures we have on the globe.