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


Social crawlies converge

This post is part of a Reptile and Amphibian Blogging Network (RAmBlN) online event called: #CrawliesConverge We are writing on convergent evolution in reptiles and amphibians. Find our event schedule here and follow us Twitter or Facebook. My favorite example of convergent evolution is that between old (e.g., lappet-faced vulture) and new (e.g., turkey vulture)… Read More


This post is a part of the Reptile and Amphibian Blogging Network’s (RAmBlN) #HerpsAdapt event in honor of Darwin Day. RAmBlN is showcasing the remarkable evolutionary abilities of reptiles and amphibians by posting 1-2 blog posts per day 12-16 February. See the full list of posts on our website and follow us on Facebook and… Read More


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. We have written a little about rattlesnake roundups before (here and here), and you can find out more at The Center for Biological Diversity.… Read More


The male combat “dance” of snakes – rattlesnakes among them – is an affair wherein the obvious isn’t the truth, and the the truth is stranger than the obvious (Laurence Klauber, in Rattlesnakes, p. 703) When we think of combat, graphic images of violent competition come to mind: humans with swords or guns, sheep ramming… Read More


Snake Count is almost here! This week we countdown to Snake Count with a post each day featuring a snake we found during last spring’s Snake Count. We hope you’ll join us at Muleshoe for Snake Count, but if you can’t, find a way to participate in your area by clicking on the graphic below.… 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


When SocialSnakes started working at the Muleshoe Ranch Preserve in September 2011, we were interested in whether Arizona black rattlesnakes (Crotalus cerberus) den in groups here at the southern and low elevation end of their geographic range. They do! Last year we observed at least one Arizona black rattlesnake sharing a den at Muleshoe with… Read More


From the website “How can you cuddle without arms?” I was contacted a while ago by a student in the Animal Behavior class at Reed College. For this class, pairs of students design a website on an animal behavior of their choice and this student was working on social snake behavior. Check out their excellent… Read More


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,… Read More