combat

The Art of Gentle Combat

Understanding the Non-violent Sparring of Panamint Rattlesnakes Each spring, after six months of cold weather in the southwesternmost Great Basin Desert, Panamint Rattlesnakes emerge from rocky dens and knot together in the sun to bask, spar, and mate. And each spring, when I observe sparring or “combat rituals” between male Panamint Rattlesnakes, what strikes me […]

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A tussle at the den?

I am currently reviewing all the footage from the dens this past spring and will have many things to share very soon (until then, you can see a new timelapse photo almost daily on our facebook page). Recently, I came across some rather unusual behavior: What’s unusual about this? Well, interactions among snakes at our

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Ménage à trois (part 2)

(if you haven’t already, see part 1) When we left our 3 gophersnakes, Bluto had just interrupted courtship between Popeye and Olive Oyl and was biting Popeye repeatedly along his body. Popeye released his bite-grip on Olive Oyl and she fled so fast that we were unable to follow. Bluto continued biting Popeye, making him

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