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Podcast on social rattlesnake behavior

Friday, November 18, 2011


If you'd like to take a break from reading, but not rattlesnake behavior, check this out:
The Reptile Living Room: Rattlesnake Behavior with Dr. Rulon Clark

This is a great interview with my friend Rulon Clark about his research, including social behavior of timber rattlesnakes. Dr. Clark is now a professor at San Diego State University, where his lab continues to do cool stuff with rattlesnakes and other reptiles (for example, check out Strike, Rattle, & Roll).

Scenes from a new den

Saturday, November 12, 2011

We were recently told about a new social rattlesnake den in the Galiuro Mountains. We hiked in to check it out, saw one western diamond-backed rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox), and decided to set up one of our timelapse cameras. The video below is from the first two days of our monitoring, and we were a little surprised at all the activity:

That video is a little long and it’s easy to miss all the visitors, so here are stills of all the reptiles we spotted.



This is a juvenile Sonoran whipsnake (Coluber bilineatus). The closely related striped whipsnake (Coluber taeniatus) often shares dens with Arizona black rattlesnakes (Crotalus cerberus; see Are aggregations of Arizona black rattlesnakes stable and complex social groups?).



A gila monster (Heloderma suspectum)! It is not unusual for Gila monsters to share dens with western diamond-backed rattlesnakes and Sonoran Desert Tortoises (Gopherus morafkai). However, this Gila checks out the den only to turn around and leave. Could it be looking for a date? It's awfully late in the year for Gilas to be out and about.



Patch-nosed snake (Salvadora spp.) This is not a snake we have yet seen in any of our other dens. In this video, the patch-nosed appears to be checking the den out before moving on. Future videos may show if this snake continues to use the den.

There were a couple feathered reptiles here too (birds). Did we miss anyone? Who else will show up at the new den? Stay tuned...

Stop Roundups!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Sorry for the interuption from our regularly scheduled program, but this is important.
Enjoy our blog posts?
Like snakes?
Then consider signing this petition to stop the unnecessary and cruel rattlesnake slaughter:
Ask Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife To End Rattlesnake Roundups