World Snake Day 2015

July 16 is World Snake Day! While snakes are threatened by many of the same issues that affect all wildlife (habitat loss, climate change, and disease), negative attitudes toward snakes may be the biggest barrier to their conservation because it often impedes efforts to address other threats. So do your part by spreading positive messages… Read More


Snake Peeks 4: Jaydin the Hound Dog

   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… Read More


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… Read More


As I reflected on my favorite snake moments of 2013, I realized we hadn’t shared the best story of all! We added Luna and Cat to our study at Muleshoe in 2012 for one reason – we wanted to observe maternal care in Arizona black rattlesnakes at our new site. Despite all we’ve seen, mother… Read More


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,… Read More


“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… Read More


It is always a little sad to say goodbye to the 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 a safe place to spend the winter. That’s a tall order… Read More


Squirrels and rattlesnakes have a complicated relationship. Some squirrels have developed resistance to rattlesnake venom so that an adult squirrel can survive a rattlesnake bite. Juvenile squirrels cannot, so they are often still prey to rattlesnakes. Because of their resistance, adult squirrels will confront rattlesnakes that wander near their colonies and sometimes even kill them!… Read More


Rattlesnakes take care of their babies. Yep, they really do. But, what does “care” look like in a snake? Do they feed their young like a mother bird? Do they keep them warm? Do they protect them from predators? With the exception of feeding, rattlesnakes care for their offspring in familiar ways. The following is… Read More


Priscilla, Lois, and Arli spent their pregnancy together at a rookery from May through August, 2010. Arli moved away to a private nest shortly before giving birth. Priscilla & House, 1 September 2010 On 30 August 2010 we observed Priscilla (pregnant adult female) discouraging House (neonate / newborn) from potential exposure to a human predator.… Read More