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Frightened snakes

Posted on Sep 16, 2014

Here’s Twan photographing one of the Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) we recorded during survey work this September. In this particular case we have a young male on the hunt for prey. It did not move from this position and it hoped that we would never notice it (and the snake is a heck of a lot easier to see when you know it’s there than when searching in the field!) I initially spotted it from where we were standing in the photo. It felt comfortable enough to simply remain still and rely on its natural camouflage which works phenomenally. However, other rattlesnakes that day were even more afraid of us, flattening their bodies as much as possible to look larger. Others, very likely gravid females, rattled from under large rocks where they were almost entirely hidden despite the fact we were not even attempting to engage them in any way. This was done out of passive defense, not aggressive offense. These “ferocious” snakes are very afraid of humans and do not want to remotely involve themselves in trying to harm us. They know it would cost them precious energy and venom and perhaps their life. Like most creatures Timber Rattlesnakes are indeed more afraid of you than you are of them.

Twan Timber Rattlesnake 0129