melissa

Zona returns

We were only able to pay a quick visit to our favorite rattlesnake nest sites in 2013, but it was a very productive trip. As always, we were greeted by familiar faces, one in particular a delightful surprise. In most snakes, we’re missing some basic information: How long do they live? How old are they …

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Squamate Sociality

Surprisingly like birds and mammals Back when we were called Social Snakes, I loved the quizzical looks I often got in response to that name followed by “But snakes aren’t social…” Au contraire, indeed they are, as are many lizards (together termed squamates) and their social behavior is more like birds and mammals than many guess! Social skinks …

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Ban rattlesnake gassing in Texas!

Each spring, festivals are held throughout Texas in which thousands of rattlesnakes are kidnapped from their dens, kept without adequate food or water, tortured, and finally killed for entertainment and profit (find out more at RattlesnakeRoundups.com). If you have ever been out looking for snakes, or even spent time in rattlesnake habitat, you’ve probably noticed …

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Good neighbors make a greater impact

How viper behavior increases their effect on prey populations The sound of domestic cats fighting is probably familiar to most readers of this blog. Like most predators, cats defend their turf and the resources within. Prey is often scarce and starvation a real possibility, so it makes sense to fight for access to these resources. …

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Social reptile bloggers

In one week (9 December 2013) Social Snakes will join a group of bloggers to draw attention to ecosystem services provided by snakes. Social media has become an important tool in conducting effective science education and outreach and snakes have much to gain from this. Many reptiles and amphibians occur in large numbers in the …

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A very long engagement

There’s been so much happening this summer, we haven’t had a chance to introduce our new guy, DoubleR. Since we got back Bane’s old and newly repaired transmitter (see here and here), we’ve been on the lookout for an appropriate candidate. Jeff had a few individuals in mind; big black-tailed rattlesnakes that we’ve seen near …

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Life becomes death

Over the summer of 2013, SocialSnakes was blessed to be visited by many great people, including the author of this post, Jennifer Fill. We were honored to host Jennifer for part of her first annual trip to Arizona and introduce her to our neighbors which she had never seen before (western diamond-backed rattlesnakes, patch-nosed snakes, …

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Bane the lucky and resilient

Read part 1, when good transmitters go bad, here. Jeff returned shortly with Bane! He had moved, but luckily not far. We contacted the transmitter manufacturer, who graciously offered to repair the faulty transmitter and have it back to us in a week. While that is very fast turnaround, we didn’t want to keep Bane …

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