Meet the opossum – a very cute, slightly more timid version of its well known cousin ‘the possum’. The opossum has an incredible tactic when faced with a threat; it appears to ‘play dead’ leaving its prey very confused and often giving up.
The opossum actually has no control over ending up knocked out – it’s a biological response to danger that causes the creature to enter a catatonic state and it is unable to feel anything. During the process it falls to the ground, excretes whatever is left in its bowels and sticks out its drooling tongue. It can take the passed out marsupial up to several hours to regain consciousness and it may have to deal with certain injuries, as prey will usually give it a good prod and kick before moving on to the next target.
At first glance you might think this would have put opossums at an evolutionary disadvantage, but in actual fact it’s quite the opposite. Predatory animals are put off by already dead animals because of the risk of their not-so-fresh cadaver being diseased and hosting all sorts of unappealing parasites. And this has helped the opossum through the years.
Delving deeper into the evolutionary process of how this peculiar trait came to be will benefit any student of a biological persuasion in writing a memorable personal statement.
- Personal Statement Solution: Brainstorm Sheet Writing your personal statement may just be the grimmest part... Read more >
- Mathematics Reading List Studying Mathematics at university requires a different approach to studying... Read more >
- Download a Biology Personal Statement “Assisting with the post mortem of a dairy cow during... Read more >
- How is the BMAT marked? The BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) is marked significantly differently from... Read more >
- Choosing a course From Arch and Anth to Veterinary Medicine, the range of... Read more >
- March’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- Funding Your Oxbridge Degree Many people are under the impression that it is more... Read more >
- LNAT overview If you’re applying for Law at Oxford you will need to sit... Read more >
- English: answer like a pro We have a lot of questions year on year from... Read more >
- For Your Reference: Admissions Test Factfiles The majority of Oxford courses, and an increasing number of... Read more >
- July’s Top News Stories Read more about some of the biggest news stories to... Read more >
- History of Art Reading List History of Art at Oxford and Cambridge allows you to... Read more >
- 5 Easy Ways To Support Your Son Or Daughter Before Their Oxbridge Interviews The weeks before the Oxford and Cambridge interviews are a... Read more >
- Physical, Mathematical & Chemical Sciences Reading Lists If you’re applying for Physics, Natural Sciences (P), Maths, Computer... Read more >
- Application Calendar Making an application to Oxford or Cambridge can seem like... Read more >
- MLAT overview If you’re applying for Modern Languages, or their joint schools, you... Read more >
- Using stats: dos and don’ts When making an application, you must be careful about using... Read more >
- Social and Political Sciences Reading List We’ve brought together a wide-ranging bibliography to help those applying... Read more >
- Medical & Biological Sciences Reading Lists Medicine and the whole range of Biological Sciences are highly... Read more >
- Communications expert top tips One of our communications specialists, has his own advice for... Read more >
- Personal statement: our tips in the Independent Here are 3 quick tips every hopeful should consider before... Read more >
- Taking a Gap Year There are a number of advantages to taking a gap... Read more >
- Cambridge Law Test mini mock paper & answers If you are applying to do Law at Cambridge, chances... Read more >
- UCAS: A How To Guide The process of applying to university through UCAS can seem... Read more >