Sunday, February 22, 2015

Snakes!

I've been taking an Ecology course at my school, and we'll frequently combine with the Zoology class (I took the Zoology class last year) for the guest speakers that they have. The most recent guest speaker was a Herpetologist, so he brought in some of his snakes and taught us how to identify them, and some different information about each of the Snakes. I, of course, brought my camera to class and took pictures of all of the snakes. However, I forgot some of the names for a few of the snakes, so I'm only including the ones that I do remember.


Kingsnakes are the most beautiful snakes to me. They can be other colors, not just red, black, and gray, but they're typically all the same banded pattern. Occasionally there will be a striped or spotted Kingsnake, but they're much less common. The speaker explained to us that people will commonly mistake Kingsnakes for Coral Snakes, which are venomous. When it comes to telling the difference between the two, it's important to remember this saying: "Red on yellow, kill a fellow; red on black, venom lack".


 They also brought a Rattlesnake! (They were trained professionals and the snake was trained to be kept within a thick plastic tube for safety purposes. If you see a Rattlesnake, don't pick it up or try to place it in a tube.) Rattlesnakes have a larger looking face because their venom sacks sit on either side of their faces. Some people think that you can tell how old a Rattlesnake is based off of how many layers there are on the rattle. However, that isn't true. The rattle is formed when the snake is shedding it's skin and a section of the skin gets caught on the end of the tail and hardens. The rattle will eventually get heavy and break off.


The Bull Snake is usually mistaken for a Rattlesnake because their pattern and colors are similar. Bull Snakes will, when threatened, vibrate their tails or swipe them threw dry foliage to mimic a Rattlesnake to scare predators. The main different that they explained to us was the shape of their heads (The Rattlesnake's being large because of venom sacks, and the Bull Snake's looking more like an average snake's head). However, it's better to be safe then sorry, so don't mess with it unless you're extremely sure that it's a Bull Snake.



The final snake they brought out to show us was their Albino Burmese Python. It was seriously the biggest snake I've ever seen! They couldn't hold it up, so it laid on one of the tables in the classroom while they talked about them. Well... Really the only things they told us about it was that it wouldn't have survived in the wild because of its coloration, and that it's takes up a lot of space. Hahaha So that one wasn't as educational for us as the other snakes were. 

Now, I don't consider myself an expert on snakes! Not by any means! Animals in general are amazing to me, so I love learning all that I can about them. If you know anything about snakes, or about any other animals that you think I should learn about let me know!

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