eeeeeek!!! A snake!
Before you scream and walk (run) away, could you give us just a couple of minutes? Here at Wildwood Wildlife Park we are interested in what snakes do and, yes … we like them. We really do!
One of the reasons why these beautiful creatures are so misunderstood is due in part to the fact that in the wild snakes are difficult to observe without disturbing them. (Snakes on a Plane may be the other reason.)
Despite the difficulty, scientists spend a lot of time in the field when snakes are active to observe what they do and how they act and interact with each other. Thanks to the benefits of modern electronics to enhance traditional methods that allow experts to observe snakes without human presence, scientists have made a number of surprisingly discoveries.
What we have learned from these scientific studies is the previous line of thinking of snake behavior, specifically sharing a den as a place to seek shelter from the cold due to a lack of suitable places for snakes to seek refuge is not the full story. In relatively mild climates such as Arizona, scientists have discovered that rattlesnakes willingly share dens. The conclusion from remotely monitoring these dens is that Arizona black rattlesnakes are social creatures. More than just a shelter from the cold, dens may serve as a type of social hub for snake communities where these reptiles learn from each other; such as good places to bask, hunt or even give birth. Who knew that snakes had friends?
Remote videography monitoring of rattlesnake nest sites has given scientists new insights into the lives of rattlesnake families. What have they learned? Snakes take care of their young, defend them from threats and “snake-sit” the neighbors young.
So what have you learned? Take a closer look at the photo above. How many snakes do you see? Look at how they are interacting with each other. Do you see how these reptiles appear comfortable - even friendly with each other.
The next time a snake crosses your path - take a moment to appreciate the beauty of nature. Instead of running in fear that a snake is out to get you, you now know that snake may be on its way back to take care of the little ones in the nursery.