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Old May 30th, 2014 #241
Alex Linder
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Search for copperbelly water snake part of effort to save rare reptile

by Kevin Kilbane of The News-Sentinel
Friday, May 30, 2014

It looked like a tangle of fallen branches and roots near the water's edge.
But the sheen of a couple of the “branches” tipped off experts in the group that we had come upon two copperbelly water snakes basking in the sun.

As people maneuvered around slowly to get a better view without scaring away the snakes, they discovered three more copperbellys in the grass farther up the bank.

“That is a bunch of males probably all looking for a female,” Bruce Kingsbury, a biology professor at IPFW and director of the university's Environmental Resources Center, said of the gathering.

But it was a great start to a day spent hiking through woods and around wetlands to survey the copperbelly population, which is slithering toward extinction in the Tri-state area.

The population survey May 22, which was organized by The Nature Conservancy's Western Lake Erie Basin office in Angola, took place in and around the Lake La Su An Wildlife Area in northwest Ohio.

Kingsbury, a copperbelly expert, estimates a combined total of about 100 copperbellys still may live in isolated patches of forested wetlands where the borders of Indiana, Ohio and Michigan intersect northeast of Angola.

The snakes, which have a black or dark-colored back and orange-red belly, can grow to about 4 feet long, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports at
www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/reptiles/cws.

The northern population of copperbellys has been listed since January 1997 as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported.

The southern population of copperbellys, which federal officials don't consider threatened, lives in southern Indiana, southern Illinois and Kentucky, Kingsbury said. However, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan list the snake as an endangered species in their states.



Historical records indicate the northern population of copperbellys once lived from the South Bend and Elkhart areas through their current range and down toward Columbus, Ohio, said Kingsbury, who has studied the snakes since the early 1990s.

Today, he and other researchers believe the northern copperbellys survive in only a few pockets in and around Lake La Su An Wildlife Area.

The five snakes spotted early in last week's survey were the only ones the group saw that day.

Northern copperbellys face three main threats — loss of habitat, capture by collectors and death by predators, such as raccoons, skunks, raptors and snapping turtles.

Unlike many other snakes, which may spend their lives in the same small area, copperbelly water snakes need a large mosaic of wetlands and forest, Kingsbury said.

Copperbellys eat mainly frogs and tadpoles, so they travel around to shallow wetlands where they can find food, he said. The snakes may travel up to 50 meters in a day.

The travel information comes from a study in which he surgically inserted tiny radio transmitters in copperbellys and two of his former IPFW graduate students tracked the snakes' movements.

During that study, they also learned copperbellys rarely cross roads, effectively isolating the existing northern populations from each other. Through testing, however, Kingsbury and his students learned installing culverts — large drainage pipes — under roads provides tunnels the snakes will use to cross to the other side.

To continue monitoring the northern copperbelly population, one of Kingsbury's current IPFW master's degree students, Lauren Hall of Rochester Hills, Mich., recently began testing whether researchers can use motion-activated cameras to detect copperbelly water snakes.

Hall has set up basking platforms in shallow water where copperbellys have been seen in the Lake La Su An area. If snakes use them, she said, she will set up similar platforms and cameras in locations where the habitat is suitable for copperbellys but where none have been seen.

“If they actually use them, it will help the copperbelly,” she said of the basking platforms. “We can monitor them.”

As of late last week, the cameras had captured images only of raccoons, frogs, a turtle and a different species of snake, she said.

The Nature Conservancy's work to save wetlands and forests in the Tri-state area also has been a big help to copperbellys, Kingsbury said.

“They have funded research on a variety of species and have considered and acted on recommendations from that and other projects to guide decisions about property management and land acquisition,” he said.

The Nature Conservancy's nearly 1,200-acre Douglas Woods Nature Preserve near Hamilton has habitat suitable for copperbellys and could become a site where the snakes are reintroduced, Kingsbury said.

However, there's more at stake than just saving a threatened snake, Kingsbury noted. Copperbellys are an indicator species.

“If you can succeed in protecting … (it),” he said, “that's telling you that you have a healthy landscape for a whole lot of other things.”

http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pb...NEWS/140529714
 
Old May 30th, 2014 #242
N.B. Forrest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
It looks like a horror movie... what is that frog even doing hanging around?

That pic should be sent to a nature mag!

"But Gawd hardened Fay-ro's heart, so he said 'I ain't lettin' them heebs go nowhere! I need 'em for buildin' my pyrmids 'n' whatnot 'cause they such hard workers!' So Gawd laid a plague o' snakes 'n' frogs on his ass! The snakes commenced to eatin' each other as the frogs enjoyed the show (bein' that they's usually on the snake bill o' fare themselves, ya see). The spectacle was so disgustin' that it made all the first-born sons o' Egip puke so much they dropped dead...."
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Old May 30th, 2014 #243
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[this is fucking amazing. and you think jews can't have a capacity like this for fooling people? maybe you should quit getting your thoughts out of the bible for fools]

Caterzilla! Fat caterpillar pretends to be a SNAKE to escape predators

Wednesday 28 May 2014 10:00 pm



From a distance, this fat, green caterpillar would seem to be a very tasty appetiser for any predator.

But should they get any closer, the tables can turn very swiftly.

Far from swooping on a caterpillar, they come face to face with a snake.

The neon-green bug boggles its enemies by tucking in its legs and expanding the end of its body – which has markings that look like the face of a dangerous reptile.

So well honed is its disguise, it will even act like a snake, pretending to strike if approached.

Prof Daniel Janzen, a biologist from the University of Pennsylvania, photographed the creepy-crawly as part of his work tracking caterpillars in Central America.


Caterpillar disguises itself to escape predators

‘To normal people, this caterpillar might look weird and scary – but for me, it’s just a walk in the park,’ he said. ‘Every caterpillar in Costa Rica looks like something else – be it a leaf, twig or, in this case, a slithering snake.

‘Over the years, I’ve seen and photographed so many different types of bugs, I’m never surprised – but they always interest me.’

Prof Janzen has been tracking Costa Rica’s caterpillars since 1978.

He said this example – captured in the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, a UNESCO World Heritage site to the north-west of the country – was part of the Hemeroplanes family.

Its disguise is designed to ward of predators while it is in its larval stage, before it grows into a moth.

But predators can relax – while it can strike, it can’t bite.

http://metro.co.uk/2014/05/28/caterz...ators-4743190/
 
Old May 30th, 2014 #244
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Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
[this is fucking amazing. and you think jews can't have a capacity like this for fooling people? maybe you should quick getting your thoughts out of the bible for fools]

Caterzilla! Fat caterpillar pretends to be a SNAKE to escape predators

Wednesday 28 May 2014 10:00 pm



From a distance, this fat, green caterpillar would seem to be a very tasty appetiser for any predator.

But should they get any closer, the tables can turn very swiftly.

Far from swooping on a caterpillar, they come face to face with a snake.

The neon-green bug boggles its enemies by tucking in its legs and expanding the end of its body – which has markings that look like the face of a dangerous reptile.

So well honed is its disguise, it will even act like a snake, pretending to strike if approached.

Prof Daniel Janzen, a biologist from the University of Pennsylvania, photographed the creepy-crawly as part of his work tracking caterpillars in Central America.


Caterpillar disguises itself to escape predators

‘To normal people, this caterpillar might look weird and scary – but for me, it’s just a walk in the park,’ he said. ‘Every caterpillar in Costa Rica looks like something else – be it a leaf, twig or, in this case, a slithering snake.

‘Over the years, I’ve seen and photographed so many different types of bugs, I’m never surprised – but they always interest me.’

Prof Janzen has been tracking Costa Rica’s caterpillars since 1978.

He said this example – captured in the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, a UNESCO World Heritage site to the north-west of the country – was part of the Hemeroplanes family.

Its disguise is designed to ward of predators while it is in its larval stage, before it grows into a moth.

But predators can relax – while it can strike, it can’t bite.

http://metro.co.uk/2014/05/28/caterz...ators-4743190/
Now, that is truly incredible....
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Old May 30th, 2014 #245
Alex Linder
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Rare snake causes a stir near North Platte



Ruth Orr found this eastern hognose snake in her parents’ yard about 7 miles southeast of North Platte on Thursday. It’s the third recorded in Lincoln County. The others were seen in the 1980s.

FRIDAY, MAY 30, 2014
By Heather Johnson / World-Herald News Service

An odd-looking creature caused quite the stir outside North Platte Thursday morning.
Ruth Orr was getting ready to do chores at her parent’s ranch 7 miles southeast of town when she heard her dog barking frantically.

“I went to see what all the commotion was about, and here was this snake in the front yard,” Orr said. “My dog is very protective of our boys, and she was spinning the snake around. She wasn’t going to let it go anywhere.”

A physical characteristic on the reptile immediately caught Orr’s attention. The snake had a hood on its neck, similar to that of a cobra.

“It looked like a hognose snake, but I’ve never seen them fan out like that,” Orr said. “That’s the second snake of that type found on the place. My dad saw another one in a pasture two summers ago.”

According to Dennis Ferraro, a herpetologist for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Orr encountered an eastern hognose snake — a species recorded only twice in Lincoln County.

“We show one was found in September 1984, but there’s no location listed, just GPS coordinates,” Ferraro said. “Another was seen May 26, 1988. There haven’t been any reports since then.”

Although the reptiles are native to Nebraska, there isn’t a good handle on their range. Ferraro said the snakes are known to exist in the eastern part of the state near the Missouri River.

Records from the 1930s also show them in the Niobrara River and Republican River valleys. They have been spotted as far west as Red Willow and Frontier Counties.

“We’re now starting to find them along the Platte River,” Ferraro said. “Whether they have always been in those areas, we don’t know.”

He said the snakes prefer moist conditions, such as around ponds, and they eat frogs and toads. They have two fangs in the back of their mouths, but they rarely bite people. Instead, the reptiles use scare tactics to ward off predators.

“They are the only snakes in Nebraska that hood out when scared,” Ferraro said. “It’s all defensive, not aggressive whatsoever. They want to look bigger to send predators the other way.”

By doing so, two dark blotches become visible on the back of the snake’s flattened head. Ferraro said that gives the impression of big eyes to birds of prey and other animals trying to attack from above.

“When that doesn’t work, the snakes roll over, play dead and throw up,” Ferraro said. “That’s to give the impression they are a dead, rotting thing that wouldn’t taste good.”

He asks that any of the snakes spotted in Lincoln County be reported to him so he can track their whereabouts and take a blood sample. He said it’s best to sweep them into a bucket with a tight lid with holes in it.

The bucket should be stored in a cool area and include a little bit of water. Ferraro can be contacted at 402-472-8248, or emailed at [email protected].

http://www.omaha.com/outdoors/rare-s...a4bcf6878.html
 
Old May 30th, 2014 #246
Alex Linder
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[if i didn't know y'all was gonna start cryin', i'd make some cheap shots about this guy being Southern and Polish - a real double-threat moron. but honestly...is is me? it's not me. it really isn't. i'm just collecting these stories. i dont have my hands up these ijits' asses. wow...video says 52 vials of anti-venim to keep this nitwit alive]

Putnam County man survives bite from massive snake

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- Clay Petruski is counting his blessings. He's visibly banged up, weak and can barely sit upright, all thanks to an eastern diamondback rattler.

He saw it in the road, and tried to shoo it away.

"When I grabbed the stick to prod him, he immediately latched ahold of my hand and he wouldn't let go," he explained.

Petruski managed to stumble to his house a short distance away, but collapsed on the couch in front of his wife. He knew instantly he was in trouble.

"My brain just said 'uh oh.' When she came in, I was already drooling and I don't remember nothing. It was all her after that. That's all I remember until I woke up days later," he continued.

When he arrived at UF Health Gainesville, Petruski wasn't breathing and was pronounced dead on arrival. Doctors spent three hours and 20 minutes trying to revive him. His throat was so swollen, they had to cut underneath his Adam's apple just to get a breathing tube in.

Since his release this week, he says has a new perspective on life. He has a long recovery ahead, but says one thing is for sure. He's done playing hero.

"The snakes are on their own. If they get run over, so be it."

Petruski is set to go back to the doctor next week for after-care and blood tests. He was told he'd never be able to fully bend his hand again, but tells Action News he will prove doctors wrong.

Of the roughly 60 to 70 snake species native to Florida, only six are clinically venomous, including the eastern diamondback rattler. At full size, they can get up to 8 feet long.


http://www.actionnewsjax.com/content...Mjz6IsiHw.cspx
 
Old May 30th, 2014 #247
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KATY, TX (KTRK) -- A rat snake slowed things down at Mayde Creek in Katy this morning.

Mayde Creek was out of its banks from flooding rain the last couple of days, sending the snake looking for higher ground.

As vehicles passed by, the snake would lunge vehicles' tires. Crews shut down one lane as they tried to corral it.

This story didn't end well for the snake, as multiple vehicles ran over it. The snake didn't survive its injuries.

http://abc13.com/uncategorized/lungi...e-creek/79858/

[end of the local news video about flooding creek a car runs over the snake.]
 
Old May 30th, 2014 #248
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The World Outdoors: Snakes, turtles need protection

By Paul Nicholson, Special to QMI Agency
Wednesday, May 28, 2014


The Eastern garter snake is the most common snake in Southwestern Ontario. Its populations are robust however nine of the 15 snake species in this Carolinian region of the province are at risk. (Paul Nicholson/Special to QMI Agency)

Snakes still make me jump but I do find them interesting. Whenever I see any of the province’s reptiles, I will stop to observe them.

Southwestern Ontario is part of the Carolinian region of the province and it is home to 23 reptile species. Sixteen of these are listed as species at fisk in Ontario.

All fifteen of Ontario’s snakes can be found in the Carolinian region. Only the Massasauga rattlesnake is venomous. While some of the other fourteen species may bite if threatened or handled, they are not venomous.

Interestingly, some of our snakes — such as the Eastern fox snake, blue racer, milk snake, and blue rat snake — will vibrate their tail to mimic a rattler. The Eastern hog-nosed snake may even puff out and flatten its neck like a cobra if it feels threatened, however it doesn’t pose a threat to humans.

Some snakes including the Eastern garter snake and Northern water snake give birth to a dozen or so live young. Other species including our smooth green snake and ring-necked snake lay eggs from which young hatch.

Snakes generally feed on invertebrates, amphibians, or fish. Larger species also will catch birds and small rodents. All of Ontario’s snake species play an important part in biodiversity.

The most common and most familiar species is the Eastern garter snake. Although it usually has three yellowish stripes and a yellowish belly, its colouring is highly variable.

Its habitats also are variable. I often see these snakes while hiking in natural areas. They do well in urban and suburban areas too.

During two of my recent visits to Point Pelee, I have seen ribbon snakes. They resemble garter snakes however the markings on the head of a slender ribbon snake are much sharper.

Nine Southwestern Ontario snake species are at risk including the Massasauga rattlesnake.

The five-lined skink, Ontario’s only lizard, is an at-risk species.

Most of the seven turtle species found in Southwestern Ontario also are at risk. In fact, it is only the midland painted turtle that is not at risk.

Reptiles are ancient animals that have survived the Ice Age and countless other threats. They are now severely challenged again because of many human factors.

Habitat loss and habitat fragmentation top the list of threats to reptiles. Cars also are a specific threat. Road signs are meant to alert drivers to turtle or snake crossings but many animals are lost in spite of these efforts.

Another challenge is predation of reptile eggs by raccoons. Because of their adaptations to human development, raccoon populations have become unnaturally elevated.

Signs are an important, basic element in supporting reptile populations. This is especially important through the month of June when most of our turtles nest. Females will leave the water to find a locations to lay their eggs and they are oblivious to road risks.

If you see a turtle crossing the road, brake. If it is safe, carry the turtle to the side of the road to which it was heading. Once the turtle lays its eggs, she returns to the water and the eggs are left to develop.

Studies are ongoing. For example, Kyle Yurkiw is working at Rondeau Provincial Park this summer on a fox snake population study using radio transmitters to track snakes across the park.

There are initiatives including construction of snake nesting structures and hibernation environments known as hibernacula that also support reptiles.

There are organizations that focus on reptile work. The Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre is one. Their website and Facebook pages are filled with interesting facts.

Nature notes

The trees at London’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery will be the focus of a walk led by Nature London on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The public is welcome to participate in this free event. Details are at naturelondon.com

I had great success birding in three of the provincial parks along Lake Huron last weekend. The opening of the Huron Fringe Birding Festival at MacGregor Point was tremendous. Virginia rail and ruffed grouse were among the many highlights. At Inverhuron, I added broad-winged hawks and saw more warblers. Hiking along Point Farm Provincial Park’s Old Farms Trail sightings included scarlet tanager, thrashers, indigo buntings, and white-tailed deer.

Paul Nicholson can be reached at [email protected]

Twitter @NicholsonNature

http://www.lfpress.com/2014/05/28/th...eed-protection
 
Old May 30th, 2014 #249
Alex Linder
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more about the snake on the island 400 miles off mexico
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/...8/found-snake/

 
Old May 30th, 2014 #250
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Caterpillars found in Costa Rica disguise themselves as snakes to ward off predators
https://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dail...183728781.html

 
Old May 30th, 2014 #251
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Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
[if i didn't know y'all was gonna start cryin', i'd make some cheap shots about this guy being Southern and Polish - a real double-threat moron. but honestly...is is me? it's not me. it really isn't. i'm just collecting these stories. i dont have my hands up these ijits' asses. wow...video says 52 vials of anti-venim to keep this nitwit alive]

"The snakes are on their own. If they get run over, so be it."
It appears that he did learn something from this, and is fortunate that he lives to apply his new knowledge.
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Old May 30th, 2014 #252
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When a 900-Pound Croc Takes on a 58-Foot Snake
By Stephenie Livingston, University of Florida | May 30, 2014


A new crocodilian species lived in freshwater rivers 60 million years ago, in close proximity to Titanoboa, a monster snake that would have been a formidable threat, says Jonathan Bloch. "Every once in a while, there was likely an encounter between Anthracosuchus and Titanoboa. Titanoboa was the largest predator around and would have tried to eat anything it could get its mouth on." (University of Florida)

An ancient, 16-foot, 900-pound crocodile may have been overmatched by a monster snake that swam in the same rivers 60 million years ago.

The newly named reptile, Anthracosuchus balrogus, which had an unusually blunt snout for species in the dyrosaurids family, was unearthed from the same layer of rock as the 58-foot Titanoboa in the Cerrejon coal mine of northern Colombia.

The species opens a window to the early adaptability and diversity of tropical crocodyliforms, which may help scientists better understand how living crocodiles adapt to changing environments today, says lead author Alex Hastings, a postdoctoral researcher at Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg and former graduate student in the geological sciences department at the University of Florida and at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

“It quickly became clear that the four fossil specimens were unlike any dyrosaur species ever found,” he says.

The species’ short snout paired with large jaw muscles typical of dyrosaurids, would give it an incredibly powerful bite, Hastings says. “Everyone thinks that crocodiles are living fossils that have remained virtually unchanged for the last 250 million years. But what we’re finding in the fossil record tells a very different story.”

Researchers were stunned when they first saw the new species, says Jonathan Bloch, a coauthor of the study, published in the journal Historical Biology, and associate curator of vertebrate paleonotolgy at the Florida Museum.

“We couldn’t believe it had such a boxy, short skull and that it was still a dyrosaur,” he says. “It really busts the mold for these animals. It is such a completely different looking beast than we’ve seen for these crocodile-like animals.”

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/7056...58-foot-snake/
 
Old May 30th, 2014 #253
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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
It appears that he did learn something from this, and is fortunate that he lives to apply his new knowledge.
yeah, see, most people could pretty easily figure out what not to do when presented with that particular situation. they wouldnt need an, uh, Polish mulligan.

you could:

a) run the fucker over
b) stop and honk at it till it moves, then remember it's deaf and drive around it/wait for it to leave
c) get out and admire it from several feet away; when done admiring, throw some rocks at it to get it to move
d) stick your hand down within its lunging range and try to shoo it away.

Three of these solutions work. Guess which one Polish Southern guy went with?



(c is the right answer. eastern diamondbacks are huge and awesome, no need to kill them without due cause)

Last edited by Alex Linder; May 31st, 2014 at 01:14 AM.
 
Old May 30th, 2014 #254
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Old May 31st, 2014 #255
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
When a 900-Pound Croc Takes on a 58-Foot Snake
By Stephenie Livingston, University of Florida | May 30, 2014


A new crocodilian species lived in freshwater rivers 60 million years ago, in close proximity to Titanoboa, a monster snake that would have been a formidable threat, says Jonathan Bloch. "Every once in a while, there was likely an encounter between Anthracosuchus and Titanoboa. Titanoboa was the largest predator around and would have tried to eat anything it could get its mouth on." (University of Florida)

An ancient, 16-foot, 900-pound crocodile may have been overmatched by a monster snake that swam in the same rivers 60 million years ago.

The newly named reptile, Anthracosuchus balrogus, which had an unusually blunt snout for species in the dyrosaurids family, was unearthed from the same layer of rock as the 58-foot Titanoboa in the Cerrejon coal mine of northern Colombia.

The species opens a window to the early adaptability and diversity of tropical crocodyliforms, which may help scientists better understand how living crocodiles adapt to changing environments today, says lead author Alex Hastings, a postdoctoral researcher at Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg and former graduate student in the geological sciences department at the University of Florida and at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

“It quickly became clear that the four fossil specimens were unlike any dyrosaur species ever found,” he says.

The species’ short snout paired with large jaw muscles typical of dyrosaurids, would give it an incredibly powerful bite, Hastings says. “Everyone thinks that crocodiles are living fossils that have remained virtually unchanged for the last 250 million years. But what we’re finding in the fossil record tells a very different story.”

Researchers were stunned when they first saw the new species, says Jonathan Bloch, a coauthor of the study, published in the journal Historical Biology, and associate curator of vertebrate paleonotolgy at the Florida Museum.

“We couldn’t believe it had such a boxy, short skull and that it was still a dyrosaur,” he says. “It really busts the mold for these animals. It is such a completely different looking beast than we’ve seen for these crocodile-like animals.”

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/7056...58-foot-snake/
What a fuckin' pic! Wow!!

(wonder how that would look as an av...)
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Old May 31st, 2014 #256
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Originally Posted by Matthaus Hetzenauer View Post
What a fuckin' pic! Wow!!

(wonder how that would look as an av...)
Looks like a Sci Fi movie poster in the making. I think they have already made a movie about Titanoboa, if I recall.
 
Old May 31st, 2014 #257
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The snake being eaten appears to be a black swamp snake. The eater I think is an eastern kingsnake.





First I thought it was a ring-necked snake and mangrove snake, but upon closer review...

Kingsnakes are known for eating other snakes - including rattlesnakes.
I did try and research the pictures before asking, but was overwhelmed by how many snakes there actually are in the US. The loser was gray, although it may not be obvious from the pictures, and his belly was not that vibrant of an orange.

Perhaps this has something to do with body temperature, or that he was getting his ass kicked?

I did kill one just like him in early spring. I was sitting & chilling out at my little ornamental pond and saw something jettison across so fast that I still can't believe I even noticed. My Koi were jumping about and unusually nervous so I got my 410 and waited. He crept up under the waterfall and I blowed his ass out of the water. I thought they ate fish.

But then again I do love my pond frogs and the cries they make at dusk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
In any case, that is some serious snake drama going on you've got there! I am insanely jealous!
It never fails, nature always deals the most unexpected experiences ever. I really wish I had gotten my video camera out or at least had charged batteries, but I was so fascinated I wasn't thinking logically.

Quote:
The South definitely has the north beat when it comes to snakes. Two-footed or traditional, I might add, obnoxiously.
Point taken.

Quote:
There's no need to kill non-poisonous ones. I understand, if they threaten livestock. Kingsnakes actually eat poisonous and other snakes. Most colubrids, like kingsnakes, will eat vermin like mice and rats. That can only be good. Water snakes will just eat frogs and such. Some dolts think they eat gamefish but they don't, the just weed out the diseased or weak ones messed up ones that can't outswim them. I've seen a water snake eating a tiny bluegill on the bank of a farm pond. Water snakes will be around after the other snakes go to tire heaven.
I went through all my snake photos and was pleased to see I have not ever killed a king snake. My only other experience with a snake fight was just as 'other-worldly' as the latest one.

My dog was raising all sorts of Cain and when I walked out on the front deck he was practically doing one and a half gainers near the azaleas growing in the front of the house. He would abruptly stop like he was frozen, and then dig furiously at the ground. When I walked over to the bushes I only saw the king snake (didn't know that what it was at the time), and got down on my hands and knees to creep for a closer look.

There were lots of leaves there, and I don't know if you are familiar with Copperheads but they are damn near invisible.



I was maybe 4.5-5 foot to it before I realized the black snake was wrapped in a serious battle with a copperhead. Again, the *blink* occurred. Suddenly I was standing in the yard a safe distance away. I wish I could explain that kind of reaction better..... it's like you are one place, and then when you regain your bearings you are in another with no memory between.

The adrenalin shoots through me at such a rate it is almost painful. I guess you can tell I really am scared of snakes. LOL

The Copperhead was almost twice the size of the king, but was helpless in the same death wrap as in the pics of the Swamp snake. At one point (early on) the king had a death bite on the Copperhead's neck, just below his head. The same thing happened in the early stages with the Swamp Snake, but the pic didn't come out good at all.

Are King's immune to venom? Copperheads are a badassed snake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
BTW, that's cool photography and a good story too.
Thank-you. I will never forget it.

I make an effort now to take pics, otherwise no one believes it. Ever noticed that?

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Originally Posted by N.B. Forrest View Post
2 snakes - AND a frog. Jesus Christ, you're living in a reptile house....
I should charge admission for city kids shouldn't I?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Linder View Post
It looks like a horror movie... what is that frog even doing hanging around?

That pic should be sent to a nature mag!
I swear I never saw the frog until I was editing the images. When I saw #3 and the frog and King were facing each other I didn't know what to think.

Do snakes really hypnotize their prey? Could this bulge in the Swamper be another frog?



Nature astounds me. Every. Damn. Day.
 
Old May 31st, 2014 #258
Samuel Toothgold
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Old June 3rd, 2014 #259
Alex Linder
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Originally Posted by Wednesday Owens View Post
I did try and research the pictures before asking, but was overwhelmed by how many snakes there actually are in the US. The loser was gray, although it may not be obvious from the pictures, and his belly was not that vibrant of an orange.
Colors vary, sometimes widely. Copperheads are a good example of that. But they all have that saddle pattern, I believe. But they range from orange to dark brown.

Quote:
I did kill one just like him in early spring. I was sitting & chilling out at my little ornamental pond and saw something jettison across so fast that I still can't believe I even noticed. My Koi were jumping about and unusually nervous so I got my 410 and waited. He crept up under the waterfall and I blowed his ass out of the water. I thought they ate fish.
They probably would eat fish if big enough or could catch them. Certainly they'll eat frogs.

Quote:
My dog was raising all sorts of Cain and when I walked out on the front deck he was practically doing one and a half gainers near the azaleas growing in the front of the house. He would abruptly stop like he was frozen, and then dig furiously at the ground. When I walked over to the bushes I only saw the king snake (didn't know that what it was at the time), and got down on my hands and knees to creep for a closer look.

There were lots of leaves there, and I don't know if you are familiar with Copperheads but they are damn near invisible.

Yep. They live in Missouri, although I've never seen one here, even with some hard looking. I have seen one dead on the road in rural Virginia.

Quote:
I was maybe 4.5-5 foot to it before I realized the black snake was wrapped in a serious battle with a copperhead. Again, the *blink* occurred. Suddenly I was standing in the yard a safe distance away. I wish I could explain that kind of reaction better..... it's like you are one place, and then when you regain your bearings you are in another with no memory between.

The adrenalin shoots through me at such a rate it is almost painful. I guess you can tell I really am scared of snakes. LOL
You can get over it if you actually handle them. Cool, smooth, leathery. Most of them are pretty calm if you don't jerk around in front of them. They can't hear and can't see well, it's all smell with them, basically. Most are fairly docile although larger water snakes tend to be not very well tempered. Constrictors settle down pretty quickly, that's why they make good pets.

Quote:
The Copperhead was almost twice the size of the king, but was helpless in the same death wrap as in the pics of the Swamp snake. At one point (early on) the king had a death bite on the Copperhead's neck, just below his head. The same thing happened in the early stages with the Swamp Snake, but the pic didn't come out good at all.

Are King's immune to venom? Copperheads are a badassed snake.
Yes, I think they are.

Quote:
Thank-you. I will never forget it.

I make an effort now to take pics, otherwise no one believes it. Ever noticed that?
I can believe it; there are a lot more snakes down there in those nearly tropical areas. Up here, all we ever see is garter snakes and sometimes a blacksnake or prairie kingsnake.

Quote:
I swear I never saw the frog until I was editing the images. When I saw #3 and the frog and King were facing each other I didn't know what to think.

Do snakes really hypnotize their prey? Could this bulge in the Swamper be another frog?
The bulge is almost certainly a frog. No, snakes do not hypnotize their pray.
 
Old June 3rd, 2014 #260
Alex Linder
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Nature astounds me. Every. Damn. Day.
This is why I don't worship nature: in last 48 hours:

- rabbit has eaten 90% of my garden. 30% night one, then 60% next night. I thought it was a bird. "There's no getting through to the highly perceptive." --P.J. O'Rourke
- bat came from nowhere, was twitting and freaking until it knocked it down and scooped it out, not having a good way to kill it. I knew I'd heard these sonsabitches twitting around trying to get in on me. The worst part is, I have no f*ing clue how/where it got in. Tend to think of bats as coming from up high, but they will come from down low just as easily. They really are just mice with webbed arms, just nasty little things. There is nothing worse than a bat flying around inside your house.
- then one of these



flew in my open door and tried to start shit. Used to know what those are called, but I forgot. It looks up under mud dauber but it's not, I don't think. Jedenfalls, hab ich es getotet.

- score one for me: I got a mouse with an old-fashioned Viceroy trap baited with cheese that everyone says is inferior to peanut butter.

Funny thing is, in a different location, I threw out some squash/melon seeds, they have gone absolutely nuts with growth. While my garden now looks like Yellowstone after that big fire.

Last edited by Alex Linder; June 3rd, 2014 at 12:44 PM.
 
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