Wild Animals

Top 10 Animal Cheats

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Konrad Wothe/Getty Images

The Virginia opossum cheats death by reacting to threats with an unusual tactic — taking an immediate nap. More specifically, this is where the term "playing possum" stems from, which is often used to describe an attempt to pretend to be dead or injured with an intent to deceive. These slow-moving animals really take their performances seriously by actually going into a catatonic state to make it seem like they are really dead, even when poked. Of course, this defense mechanism doesn't work so well when there's a car involved — kinda hard for drivers to tell the difference between faux roadkill and the real thing. Oops.

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