As I was driving down the auto tour road at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma, I couldn’t help but notice a group of Vultures gathered in a nearby field. Curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to stop and see what was going on. That’s when I spotted an Opossum.

An Opossum's Scent-Checking Behavior

An Opossum’s Scent-Checking Behavior

I quickly exited my pickup and approached the Opossum, camera in hand, ready to get some shots. As I began photographing it, I noticed something interesting – the Opossum was scent-checking the air, indicating that it knew something was nearby. Thankfully, I had the wind in my favor, and the Opossum went back to searching for food.

One of the things that struck me as I captured this photo was the way the Opossum’s two fangs were prominently displayed. It added to the overall character of the image and highlighted the unique features of this fascinating creature.

To capture this shot, I was hand-holding my camera and lens.

Opossums scent-check the air as a way to detect and identify potential predators or sources of food. Their sense of smell is highly developed, and they use it to navigate their environment, find food, and avoid danger. When they detect a scent that could indicate danger or food, they will often stop and sniff the air to determine the direction and distance of the source. This behavior is essential for their survival in the wild.

Gear Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R7
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM


  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: February 18, 2023 (10:50 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f8.0
  • Shutter speed: 1/2000
  • ISO: 640 (Auto)
  • Exposure Bias: -1/3 EV
  • Focal Length: 254.0 mm

Opossums have a set of 50 teeth, which include four sharp, pointed incisors at the front of their mouth. The two largest of these teeth are their fangs, which are located at the front of their mouth on either side of their incisors. These fangs are more prominent and visible than the rest of their teeth, giving them a unique appearance.

The function of the opossum’s fangs is primarily for self-defense. When threatened, they will open their mouths wide to display their teeth, including their sharp fangs, as a warning to predators. However, opossums are not aggressive animals and will generally only use their teeth for defense if they feel threatened or cornered.

It’s also worth noting that not all opossums have the same size and shape of fangs. Some individuals may have larger or more prominent fangs than others, depending on various factors such as age, sex, and genetics.

Here is another photo I took of an Opossum: Opossum Searching For Food