black-tailed rattlesnake

Snake Peeks: Lovers, Fighters, Drinking, Hunting

   New videos in our YouTube series Snake Peeks Even where snakes are common, they can be difficult to observe because they are shy and easily disturbed. Through good fortune and patience we’ve been able to record brief moments in the lives of wild snakes. These portraits of behavior may oppose what many (most?) people …

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Congratulations Dr. Fill, #SnakeHero!

We’re delighted to congratulate our friend and #SnakeHero Dr. Jennifer Fill on the successful defense of her doctoral dissertation! In addition to being a dedicated scientist, Jen LOVES snakes and we expect she’ll use her degree to help us all understand more about these magnificent animals. Back in 2013, Jen visited Arizona and wrote the …

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Just for kicks?

Ecologists study how interactions between species affect populations. Trophic (feeding) interactions are the most obvious (e.g., lions eat zebras), but competition and mutualism are also important in structuring populations residing together. Food webs consider how seemingly non-interacting populations of species may influence each other indirectly, often through the actions of other species. How individuals interact …

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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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Snake tracking update

Although we’ve briefly mentioned some of the rattlesnakes we’re tracking at Muleshoe this spring, we haven’t done a full update in a while. So here ya go. Bane left his den in a hurry back in March. Although we suspect he shared his overwintering spot with several other snakes, we didn’t observe any of the …

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Countdown to Snake Count: 1…

Snake Count is here! I’ll end this week’s roundup of snakes with the snake that started my obsession with rattlesnakes, black-tailed rattlesnakes (Crotalus molossus, hereafter blacktails). Many, many years ago, I attended the International Herpetological Symposium just for fun, as the only reptiles I worked with at the time were of the feathered variety. I …

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Rattlesnake romance

At a certain time of year, a male snake focuses his efforts on breeding. He moves long distances in search of potential mates (a video of this behavior, scent-trailing, can be seen here). However, finding a female is only the first step; now he must convince her to mate with him. Rattlesnakes are great romantics. …

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