Parental care

Old Friends

To celebrate ASP’s fifth birthday, we’re sharing five inspiring stories with you — a new one each week through the end of 2019. Read them all here. Late this summer we visited one of our study sites after a near two-year absence. It was nesting season and though we saw fewer snakes than in years …

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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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Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s day is a much bigger deal than Father’s day. Why? Well, there’s just something extra special about mom (sorry Dad!). So, today’s post is about an under-appreciated group of moms (you guessed it), Arizona black rattlesnakes! Human moms – you think you have it tough? Rattlesnake maternal duties may only last a couple weeks, …

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Removing the blinders

“Fear of the dangers of anthropomorphism has caused ethologists to neglect many interesting phenomena, and it has become apparent that they could afford a little disciplined indulgence.” (Hinde 1982) “To endow animals with human emotions has long been a scientific taboo. But if we do not, we risk missing something fundamental, about both animals and …

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Survivors

Arizona Black Rattlesnake babies that survived their first winter. It is always a little sad to say goodbye to the Arizona Black Rattlesnake families at the end of the nesting season. It’s a difficult time for the neonates (newborns); in this population they have less than a month to find their first meal and locate …

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Alice

Memorial Day Weekend 2010. Alice is a big, beautiful, dark female Arizona black rattlesnake with mustard yellow scales outlining each dorsal blotch. We first encountered her ~20 meters from a known rattlesnake den. Several of our party walked right by before we discovered her, coiled at an opening beneath a boulder, without her rattling or …

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