Opossums are the only North American marsupials. The females of this group typically have a pouch on the belly where the young are carried and nourished for a time after their birth. Opossums have a very short gestation period of only 13 days after which they give birth to between 8 and 15 babies called joeys, of these only 8 or 9 survive. Opossums are 2-3 feet long including the tail, and weighs 8-14 pounds as adults. They live in a variety of habitats. They are famous for their prehensile tail, which they use for balance and grasping, and can occasionally hang from. They are also known for playing opossum, a defense tactic of mimicking death when frightened. The opossum is a nocturnal animal, and will eat almost anything, including insects, snails, rodents, berries, fruit, grasses, leaves, carrion, pet food, and garbage. They prefer meat to vegetables.