Social behavior

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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Arizona black rattlesnake aggregations exhibit hallmarks of sociality

This summer we presented our preliminary findings on social snake behavior at the World Congress of Herpetology in Vancouver, British Columbia. Because our presentation was so well received (we won the Herpetologists’ League Graduate Research Award!), we decided to adapt it for the blog. Enjoy! And we’d love to hear your feedback below, by email,

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Sharing

Ever since we saw Roger Repp’s talk at the Tucson Herpetological Society, Burrow Buddies — or Not?, we’ve been fascinated by different reptile species sharing shelter sites. Multiple species often share the same overwintering site; we shared this fun example here back in April: At another den, we have seen Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnakes, Spiny Lizards,

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Rattlesnake sociality exists, it’s complex, and likely occurs in multiple species

Drs. Rulon W. Clark, William S. Brown, Randy Stechert, and Harry W. Greene [1] found cryptic sociality in timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus). Timber rattlesnakes use communal winter dens and pregnant females aggregate together at rookeries to gestate their young. Clark and colleagues collected DNA samples from rattlesnakes to examine relatedness within these aggregations. While all

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