I photographed this Opossum on May 19, 2019, at the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma before it flooded.
This Refuge is now under water due to flooding. This flood is breaking all kinds of records for Oklahoma and Arkansas. More rain is on the way! The Arkansas River reached 38.2 feet on Sunday near Fort Smith, Arkansas, surpassing the historic crest of 38.1 feet in April 1945. It is predicted to reach 42.5 feet by today.
The day I photographed this Opossum I saw four of them running together. I am guessing this was males chasing a female because three of them were following one Opossum in particular. From what I read the Opossum breeding season can start as early as December and continue through October with most infants born between February and June. These Opossums were also very vocal and aggressive to each other.
How I Got The Shot
I spotted this Opossum walking the side of the tour road. I parked my pickup a distance away and walked until I got close enough to get these photos.
I was hand holding my Fujifilm X-T3 camera with a Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens attached with a Fringer EF-FX Pro. I was shooting in aperture priority mode (AV) with a shutter speed of 1/125 of a second at f5.6 and the ISO at 500. White Balance was set on auto.
- Opossums tend to be solitary animals and live alone when they are not breeding.
- Between the months of January and October, opossums breed and give birth to up to two litters of 4-8 young.
- They are totally or partially immune to rattlesnakes venom, cotton mouths, and some other pit vipers (the one exception being the coral snake).
- The have 50 teeth, more than any other mammal from North America.
- The opossum is North America’s only living marsupial.
- Opossums eat 90% of the ticks attached to them. According to the National Wildlife Federation, 5000 ticks are consumed by a single Opossum.