Farrell, a professor at
University in Deland, was our guest speaker for August.
HE gave a very informative and entertaining presentation on
the ecology of pygmy rattlesnakes. This was based on
many years of field work done at Stetson. He and his
students are often referred to as the "Pig Team." He
covered everything starting with birth, through growth,
daily life, and then old age and death.
Some of the older
and more experienced members had somewhat of a decent idea
about the natural history of these common rattlesnake, but
Terry exposed even the most knowledgeable of us to some
interesting finds. The one that impressed myself the
most was the fact that there is some degree of social (maybe
even maternal) behavior with this species. Experiments
showed that the mothers and newborn young actually sought
out each other. This is an awesome discovery, since we
are taught that snakes do not exhibit maternal behaviors.
He stated that this behavior lasted for only about 5 days
and that after the babies shed their skin for the first
time, they dispersed.
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