Showing posts with label reptiles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reptiles. Show all posts

August 20, 2011

Radio-tagging Rattlesnakes

Once piece of folklore that I heard repeatedly after my rattlesnake bite five years ago was that baby rattlesnakes were more dangerous than adults. This researcher says otherwise.
Katie Colbert, a naturalist at Sunol-Ohlone Regional Wilderness, has often heard people warn that a baby rattlesnake is a greater threat due to the fact that they're unable to control the amount of poison they inject into their victim when they bite. According to Colbert, this is just not true: all rattlesnakes, babies and adults, can control their venom. In addition, Colbert says, "Baby rattlesnakes can only produce and stash a very small fraction of [venom] an adult can." This does not change the fact, however, that a bite from any rattlesnake, regardless of age, is a dangerous bite and requires medical attention.
Watch for the rattlesnake living in the wall of the visitor center. I don't expect that they tell all the little kids about that one.

January 16, 2010

Alligators, Birds Share Unidirectional Lungs

Both alligators and birds move air through their lungs in one direction, unlike mammals' inhale-exhale cycle. It is a trait of their dinosaur ancestors.

It is a more efficient way to breathe and explains why some birds are spotted flying vigorously at altitudes of more than 20,000 feet.

August 05, 2009

The Bear Cub and the Rattlesnake

This is not a Rockies video, but it is interesting all the same: From Hog Foot Holler, a black bear cub encounters a timber rattler.

I never use the expression "If it were a snake ..." anymore--unless I am feeling self-consciously ironic.

May 20, 2007

Encounter with a Salamander

Tiger salamander. Photo by Heather Bjornebo.
Embolded by yesterday's conjunction of the Moon and Venus or some other esoteric factor, M. and I decided to plant an apple tree in a former flower bed at our guest cabin.

She was digging the hole while I went to fetch something, and when I came back, she said, "Look who I dug up!"

It was a tiger salamander. I had not seen one for years. Perhaps it had crawled down into a gopher burrow--they spend days underground in other animals' burrows--and spent the winter there.

Had I been thinking about blogging, I would have run for the camera. But we had an apple tree to plant. So the photo comes from a site on salamanders as pets.

Not wanting to make it a pet, I placed the salamander in the thick moist grass underneath a nearby juniper tree in the yard. When we came back a few hours later, it had disappeared. It had warmed up and was off to hunt insects--or find a new hideout--or so we hope.