Puff adder snakes mating on South African road


This video from South Africa says about itself:

29 December 2016

This is the extremely rare moment of a pair of puff adders mating in the road.

Lourens Erasmus captured this scene on his most recent safari adventure.

Seeing a snake while on a safari is something that most people fight about, they want to see one, but then when they do, they suddenly get really scared. Well, if one gets a fright when seeing one snake, imagine two in the middle of the road! Not even mentioning that a puff adder is an extremely venomous snake.

What a sighting to capture on film! It was so incredible that he went straight away to LatestSightings.com and uploaded it to the partner program.

When 2 male snakes fight, it looks extremely similar, however this is slightly more calm, which makes snake experts believe that these are a male and female snake performing the mating ritual.

Snakes, turtles, giraffes, other animals in 2016


This 2016 BBC video is called Giraffe DNA study identifies four distinct species.

From Science News:

Tales of creatures large and small made news this year

Snakes, giraffes, turtles and more were in the headlines in 2016

By Cassie Martin

7:00am, December 22, 2016

Scientists filled in the details of some famous evolutionary tales in 2016 — and discovered a few surprises about creatures large and small.

Venom repertoire

By studying a gene family important for toxin production, researchers found that modern rattlesnakes have pared down their venom arsenal over time (SN: 10/15/16, p. 9). Rattlers now have a smaller repertoire of toxins, perhaps more specialized to their prey.

Stepping forward

Small tweaks to a gene that makes a protein important for skeletal development may have led to the big toe and helped shape the human foot for bipedalism (SN: 2/6/16, p. 15).

Surprise absence

A gut microbe collected from chinchilla droppings appears to have no mitochondria, making it the first known complex life without the supposedly universal organelle (SN: 6/11/16, p. 14).

Turtle power

Studies of prototurtle fossils suggest that, instead of serving as natural armor, turtle shells might have got their start by aiding in burrowing (SN: 8/6/16, p. 15). The idea could help explain how turtle ancestors survived a mass extinction 252 million years ago.

Color change

Scientists pinned down the genetic changes that, in a famous example of natural selection, made peppered moths soot-colored (SN: 6/25/16, p. 6).

Tall beginnings

Giraffes should thank genes that regulate embryonic development for their long necks and strong hearts (SN: 6/11/16, p. 9).

Evolution at speed

A study of Darwin’s finches found that medium ground finches with smaller beaks survived better than big-beaked counterparts during a drought. The advantage was linked to a key gene, offering insight into the birds’ speedy evolution (SN: 5/28/16, p. 7).

Age record

Scientists have crowned a Greenland shark as the vertebrate with the longest known life span. Their analysis suggests the predator lived to an age of 392 years (SN: 9/17/16, p. 13).

Snake in Australian Christmas tree


Snake in Christmas tree, photo by Snakecatcher Victoria

From the BBC today:

Australian woman finds snake curled up in Christmas tree

A woman has discovered a 1m-long venomous snake wrapped around her Christmas tree in Australia.

The woman called for help to remove the tiger snake from her suburban home in Melbourne, Victoria, on Sunday.

Snake catcher Barry Goldsmith said the reptile entered through an open door before curling up among the decorations.

Tiger snakes, found along Australia’s coast, are highly venomous.

Mr Goldsmith said the woman “reacted quite well” after making the discovery.

“She left the room, put a towel down as a door jam and came and rang me,” he told the BBC.

The snake was released back into the wild. The species is protected in most Australian states.

Mr Goldsmith said he was used to finding snakes in unusual places.

“I’ve found them in ugg boots, washing machines, dog kennels, cat boxes, toilets, kitchen cupboards and bookcases,” he said.

See also here.

Timber rattlesnake in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Timber Rattlesnake Staring Contest

13 December 2016

Yellow phase Timber Rattlesnake or Canebrake (Crotalus horridus) is potentially the most dangerous of the venomous snakes in the United States, but fortunately has a relatively mild-mannered disposition. Unless you are so unlucky as to step directly on one hidden in tall grass for example, they generally give lots of warning and will either freeze or retreat rather than striking out unless they are unduly provoked.

South African snake escapes from bird


This video says about itself:

BIRD vs SNAKE – Snake Uses Clever Technique to get Away

24 November 2016

Watch how cleverly deceptive the snake becomes by playing dead to fool its captor…

Awesome moment captured on film by 53 year old technician, Frank De Souza on 14 November 2016 in Marloth Park.

Frank told Latest Sightings: “I’ve seen many snakes over the years but never a southern vine snake. I know them to be very shy and highly venomous. There is no antidote if bitten by one of these snakes.

This was the first time I had ever seen a bird fighting a snake. There were 4 of us on a walk looking for birds to take pictures of when suddenly we saw a Grey Headed Bush-shrike on the dirt road jumping around and flying up and down.

As we slowly went closer we saw a snake not far off. The bush-shrike and snake began to fight each another until the snake pretended to be dead. The bird was not so easily fooled and the fighting then continued.

Suddenly the bird was now fighting with two snakes at the same time. We immediately started filming.

My wife Alida and I were both amazed to have captured this sighting, it was a fantastic experience.

The snake who originally acted dead woke up and shot off like a rocket into the bushes leaving the bird to attack the second snake until it also played dead. Finally he kept pulling the snake around and we left.”

Cottonmouth snake in Florida, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

18 November 2016

The Water Moccasin or Cottonmouth snake is the venomous snake a bird watcher in Florida is most likely to encounter. This video shows that the typical behavior of this beautiful snake is to freeze and then move away slowly and only display a threat of the wide open “cottonmouth” if you continue to invade its space. It goes without saying you should not mess with them!

After a few minutes of admiring and slightly annoying this majestic snake I let it move on into the roadside canal. The real danger with these snakes is that since they are heavy and not fast, they freeze in deep cover where they are near impossible to spot and if you’re walking in heavy grass and brush you might accidentally step on them leading to a leg bite and a life-threatening situation. I recommend staying on trails if at all possible and being very careful around the edges of wetlands.

(Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti)

Comments: VENOMOUS: Cottonmouth bites can be quite dangerous. The victim should seek immediate medical care from a physician or hospital experienced in treating snakebite.

Smooth snake crosses sand


This video shows a smooth snake crossing sand in the Peel region in the southern Netherlands.

Hans Melters made this video.