Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Why Did the Snake Cross the Road?

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, Crotalus oreganus helleri, heading back towards the side of the road it started from. This snake tried to cross the road and was nearly run over by several cars before it changed its mind and headed back towards the bushes from which it originally started. Cars are the leading cause of death for rattlesnakes and rattlesnakes are the leading cause of human death by snakebite in North America. Ironic, isn't it? This snake had about 13 rattles. They add a new segment to the rattle each time they molt. They molt typically two to three times each year. Thus, assuming the rattle remained unbroken, this snake was somewhere around 4 to 6 years old.


Rita Mosquita said...

On my now deceased Uncle Bud's ranch, he had 5 grainerys across the road from the homestead. Grain = rodents (rats, mice) = snakes. One summer I was working for him and came driving out of the driveway and over a very long snake, making its way back from the grainery down to the creek. I was going pretty fast and ran over it. I stopped and backed up as quickly as I could, but it was gone. If it had been there, I would have run over it a few times!

The Wayward Hawaiian said...

These days they're not very common. However,we did have one tiny baby squeeze under the front door and get into the living room once. That was a bit of a surprise (a) that they are that tiny when newly hatched and (b) that it came into the house.