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Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 8th, 2015, 6:03 pm
by BethH
My sister, who lives in Iowa, asked where snakes there spend the winter. I'm pretty sure that many snakes like to winter over in rocky crevasses or burroughs, and would expect that here in Wyoming. But what do snakes do where there don't appear to be any of those things, just, well, cornfields?

Thanks for any information you can provide.

Beth

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 8th, 2015, 6:09 pm
by Tamara D. McConnell
Beth,
Thank you for asking this. I have long wondered about this, too. Looking forward to reading some responses.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 8th, 2015, 8:05 pm
by walk-about
Beth,

In my native Kentucky, snakes will utilize virtually any 'hole' imaginable, man-made or natural. This may be a crawfish burrow Kirtland's, Brown, Mud, Queen, Plain-belly Waters and even Redbelly snakes. Rodent burrows are sometimes utilized for Racers, Ratsnakes, Milks, Prairie Kings, Corn snakes, etc.) Timber Rattlesnake, Kingsnakes, Copperheads, and other larger snakes often utilize the root depression of dead trees. I have on several occasions found overwintering Racers for example in the root cavity of a dead Hickory or Oak 'stump'. Common Water snakes will over winter typically very close to the water and will often utilize man-made or constructed rock piles for levy, erosion control barriers and dam situations. Very small burrowing snakes such as Ringnecks, Worm, Earth, and Crowned Snakes very often simply burrow into the ground on their own, creating their own 'hole'. Cottonmouths in my book take the cake, as I have found them utilizing all of the above situations and some not mentioned here, often this being relative to the the dynamics (density namely) of said population. But often, getting below the frost-line is the essential variable in this equation; And that will vary from region of the country. Hope this helps.

Dave

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 8th, 2015, 8:24 pm
by Hadar
Based off of person communication with many Midwesterners and my personal experience, I would say snakes in the Midwest are more opportunistic. They can be found wintering in abandoned rodent burrows, rock piles (yes they do exist in Iowa, just not as large or frequent as Wyoming), they can also be found around homes where people have nice porches they can live under or piles of bricks left out. Unfortunately, too many snakes think they have found a great place to overwinter only to be found by humans that don't appreciate them and either displace them or kill them. One of the best places to find snakes in late fall in Illinois is actually trash heaps/junk yards/dump sites and abandoned buildings.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 9th, 2015, 5:28 am
by BethH
Thank you very much for your answers. My sister asked a couple of times, and then I began reading about where bears den up for the winter--not in the big cave-y hole the documentaries show, but according to the book I'm reading now, they may just nestle under a log. So I thought I'd ask the experts and find the truth! Thanks.

Beth

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 9th, 2015, 5:45 am
by MCHerper
Agree with Dave and Hadar. Snakes will overwinter just about anywhere there is access below the frost line or protection from frost. Rodent burrows, rotting stumps, rock piles, building foundations, your basement, all are fair game. I do know that I've found garter snakes partially submerged in what I assumed to be hibernacula (under a large piece of shale in a stream bank in January). I followed up with some reading on it and it stated that partially submerging had the added benefit of reducing dessication during hibernation (actually brumation). I wonder how many other snake species will utilize this strategy of partially submerging in groundwater...

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 9th, 2015, 1:51 pm
by bgorum
I would assume that those corn fields were once prairie and I know that here in New Mexico species that occur out on the flat, rockless plains often utilize rodent burrows for brumation. I imagine that there are still rodents in those agricultural areas, (though perhaps different species than would have been there when it was prairie), and that snakes would still utilize rodent burrows in those areas.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 9th, 2015, 2:56 pm
by Noah M
I see decomposing spaces being nice because I thought microbial activity raised temperatures (think of a compost bin). So hiding under a well seated log may help with cooler temperatures, at least for a while. Certainly freezing solid would stop microbial generated heat, no? In this case, the snake would need to burrow more deeply, as others have said, to under the frost line.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 9th, 2015, 4:48 pm
by BethH
MCHerper wrote:Agree with Dave and Hadar. Snakes will overwinter just about anywhere there is access below the frost line or protection from frost. Rodent burrows, rotting stumps, rock piles, building foundations, your basement, all are fair game. I do know that I've found garter snakes partially submerged in what I assumed to be hibernacula (under a large piece of shale in a stream bank in January). I followed up with some reading on it and it stated that partially submerging had the added benefit of reducing dessication during hibernation (actually brumation). I wonder how many other snake species will utilize this strategy of partially submerging in groundwater...

So you're saying that some snakes might actually hibernate partially IN water? Having moved here from the area around Lake Superior, I think it's a pretty trusting snake that your home isn't going to freeze solid on you.

This is all making me think of another hibernation question, and I'm not sure I'm going to ask it right, but I'll try (I have music degrees, ok? Though I proudly took half a year of biology in 8th grade.). The cold blooded-ness of snakes is sort of a specialized slow metabolism, that doesn't cost the snake energy to heat its body. Hibernation is a further slowing of that metabolism, including the heating component (I'm making this up. here.) In regular summer temperatures, does a snake have a relatively slow heartbeat for an animal it's size? And if it hibernates and that reduces its metabolism more, how slow does that heartbeat become? For that matter, do similar sized cottonmouths and northern water snakes have a similar number of heartbeats per minute in similar situations? (The biology teacher was sooooo happy when I took chemistry the next year... )

Beth

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 9th, 2015, 5:38 pm
by Bryan Hamilton
The problem with snakes hibernating in corn fields is that the fields are disturbed with tilling each year. This effectively kills all the hibernating snakes. A few snakes might try to hibernate in a corn field but they wouldn't survive the plowing. Heavily agricultural areas in the mid-west are snake deserts. The snakes that survive stick to streams, foundations, and fence rows for hibernating sites. Sites that have minimal ground disturbance.
BethH wrote:In regular summer temperatures, does a snake have a relatively slow heartbeat for an animal it's size?
Super slow. The heart rate for a medium size (350 gram) rattlesnake is about 60 beats per minute at 80F. A similarly sized mammal would have a heart rate that would be difficult to measure by hand. That is the great thing about being an ectotherm.
BethH wrote:For that matter, do similar sized cottonmouths and northern water snakes have a similar number of heartbeats per minute in similar situations?
I don't know this definitively, but I suspect snakes with similar body sizes, at similar temperatures, have similar heart rate. For cottonmouths and water snakes, which share a lot of natural history, I think they would be more similar than say a racer and a cottonmouth.
BethH wrote:The biology teacher was sooooo happy when I took chemistry the next year...
Good questions. Keep asking them.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 9th, 2015, 5:41 pm
by Hadar
BethH wrote: This is all making me think of another hibernation question, and I'm not sure I'm going to ask it right, but I'll try (I have music degrees, ok? Though I proudly took half a year of biology in 8th grade.). The cold blooded-ness of snakes is sort of a specialized slow metabolism, that doesn't cost the snake energy to heat its body. Hibernation is a further slowing of that metabolism, including the heating component (I'm making this up. here.) In regular summer temperatures, does a snake have a relatively slow heartbeat for an animal it's size? And if it hibernates and that reduces its metabolism more, how slow does that heartbeat become? For that matter, do similar sized cottonmouths and northern water snakes have a similar number of heartbeats per minute in similar situations? (The biology teacher was sooooo happy when I took chemistry the next year... )

Beth
Beth,

The physiology of reptiles is quite fascinating! Can you tell I'm a physiologist? You might want to check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jTxiWmSpk8 starring one of our researchers, Bob Mason. Manitoba is one of my dream herping spots, as Bob says, imagine "tens of thousands of snakes in a space the size of someone's living room". Back home in Illinois we get mating balls of garter snakes but nothing like in Canada.

Even more impressive than snakes are turtles. Hatchling painted turtles (Chrysemys picta marginata) can survive temperatures so low that their blood actually freezes. We are talking temperatures -6 to -8 Celsius (18-21 Fahrenheit). As long as no more than 56-67% of the total water in their body turns to ice then they will recover after temperatures raise above 3 C (37 F) for 20 hours or more. What allows them to survive is an accumulation of lactate in their organs, an increase in glucose in the liver and blood, an increase in blood glycerol, and increased amino acids in their blood. In short, they create their own cryoprotectants. If you want to see a video of thawing hatchling turtles, check this out https://www.units.miamioh.edu/cryolab/p ... deolow.htm. A concern with changing climate is that there will be warm days during the winter so animals like these hatchlings emerge only to get stuck in freezing temperatures again and not survive.

Cheers, Heather

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 9th, 2015, 8:23 pm
by BethH
That's all fascinating stuff. I'd not heard of the place in Manitoba. Manitoba isn't all like that, right? There's a canoe trip I'd like to do in waaaaaay north Manitoba, and I think I'd get the hee-bee-jee-bees if I ran into that many snakes.

One weekend, on an October backpacking trip, I watched 10 little turtles emerge from a hole and work their way to an inland lake. I think they were snapping turtles. They were adorable. There was a mink around that thought they were delicious, too, but once I started watching the mink departed.

A lot of my questions, I think point to a desire for more basic types of information about snakes. I just moved to Wyoming, and I know there are prairie rattlesnnakes here. I saw one on the road last summer. I'd like to know more about where they are--not to be shown, or to be told about some spot, but to read about what IS known about their habits and where you would look. I know that in Yellowstone there are supposed to be some kind of boa--rubber boa maybe? Does anybody have any recommendations about a book or nature guide that actually gives a little natural history of the creatures, written for people who don't have any intention of counting scales or otherwise getting too close to the wildlife? The Audubon guides don't really give enough information about the animals' habits. Right now I'm reading a book about Yellowstone bears. I had no idea they spent so much time grazing, or what their winter dens were like, or when pregnant females denned compared to older adult males. Is there something like that about snakes? Long ago I read the Klauber book. Maybe I should say I waded through it, and that was the one volume cut-out-the-hard parts version. I'd love to have something that was a little more basic than that, if there is such a thing.

I do tend to see wildlife. My boss says I see more wildlife than anybody she knows. It's just because I look. But I realize it helps if I have an inkling where to look, or when, or how. Do those boas like grass or rocks or mountain meadows or thermal feature parking lots? ??? It'd be cool to see one.

Thanks again for answering my questions.
Beth

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 9th, 2015, 11:29 pm
by Nshepard
stumpholes. Cavities left from dead trees that have rotted away some. This is the staple of where southeastern herps hibernate and find refuge from fire.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 10th, 2015, 5:07 am
by BillMcGighan
stumpholes. Cavities left from dead trees that have rotted away some. This is the staple of where southeastern herps hibernate and find refuge from fire.
And, I'm convinced that, here in the southeast, when the pulp wood folks started harvesting the stumps as well, our creatures took a serious hit in some areas.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 10th, 2015, 1:11 pm
by MCHerper
BethH wrote:
So you're saying that some snakes might actually hibernate partially IN water? Having moved here from the area around Lake Superior, I think it's a pretty trusting snake that your home isn't going to freeze solid on you.

Beth
I believe that these would be areas where the water has less of a tendency to freeze, either adjacent to larger, ever-flowing streams or smaller, spring or seep-fed tributary streams that don't freeze in winter. I think that lakes and ponds subject to freezing are out, however garter snakes are also, to some extent, freeze tolerant like the painted turtles that Hadar mentioned.

BTW, you ask some awesome questions. Please continue doing so, it stimulates great conversation.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 10th, 2015, 1:54 pm
by Bryan Hamilton
Eastern massasauga's and some timber rattlesnakes definitely hibernate partially in water, usually at the level of the water table. I envision they move up in their burrow system as the water levels rise. The water provides a pretty impressive buffer against freezing.
MCHerper wrote:garter snakes are also, to some extent, freeze tolerant
I didn't know this? So can they actually survive below freezing? I know garter snakes can do some pretty impressive things at low temperatures.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 10th, 2015, 4:36 pm
by BethH
Thanks for telling me the questions are ok. You guys know so much stuff and are so far above me and I know my questions are quite pedestrian.

If snakes go into rotting stumps, are they taking advantage of both the heat as it decomposes, and the moisture that I assume to be in the stumps in the southeast?

Do snakes truely hibernate?

While I'm asking questions... do snakes stop growing once they reach maturity? So if there is a large, long rattlesnake, did it grow a lot in it's youth and adolesence? Do snakes stop growing?

Thanks again, Beth

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 10th, 2015, 6:37 pm
by herpseeker1978
Snakes don't ever stop growing, however, their rate of growth slows way down once they reach a certain length or age

Josh

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 11th, 2015, 6:31 am
by MCHerper
BethH wrote:Thanks for telling me the questions are ok. You guys know so much stuff and are so far above me and I know my questions are quite pedestrian.

If snakes go into rotting stumps, are they taking advantage of both the heat as it decomposes, and the moisture that I assume to be in the stumps in the southeast?

Do snakes truely hibernate?

While I'm asking questions... do snakes stop growing once they reach maturity? So if there is a large, long rattlesnake, did it grow a lot in it's youth and adolesence? Do snakes stop growing?

Thanks again, Beth
Questions are essential to learning, and we are all learning. The forum is full of knowledgeable people, but I believe that you should never stop asking questions, no matter who you are or how much you know. I think that when people stop asking questions, they've either lost their humility or their passion.

Yes, snakes take advantage of the moisture in the stump. Desiccation is a significant issue during brumation. The taking advantage of the heat part is a great question. I don't know how exothermic the decomposition is, so I cannot tell you for sure, but I would bet that it's a factor (great observation!)

Snakes do not truly hibernate, they undergo what is called brumation, which is different physiologically than what happens when an endotherm (warm-blooded animal) hibernates. That being said, it has been subject to debate, and some people feel that hibernation is an acceptable umbrella term. I'm personally not a brumation snob but I am sure that some experts will have a Sheldon-Cooperish snort of derision for the use of hibernation.

I agree with Josh, my understanding is that snakes never stop growing, however once they reach maturity, the growth slows significantly.

Keep 'em coming!

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 11th, 2015, 10:48 am
by Kfen
BethH wrote: While I'm asking questions... do snakes stop growing once they reach maturity? So if there is a large, long rattlesnake, did it grow a lot in it's youth and adolesence? Do snakes stop growing?

Thanks again, Beth
The answer has already been posted, I just wanted to share the term for this in case you wanted to research it more: indeterminate growth. Most, if not all reptiles have this trait.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 11th, 2015, 12:00 pm
by BethH
So I looked up brumation (Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary), and it said it was similar to hibernation, but that the animals aren't asleep. So they are aware of what is going on, but really lethargic?

And they might partially be in water, which helps keep them from drying out, and I think someone said the water might even freeze some and things could still be ok. Now, if my skin freezes, I get frostbite. Does the snake?

And I believe (but don't know if this is true), that if a human is dehydrated, I have to ingest the liquid, I can't just go sit in a warm bath and absorb the moisture into my body. So is this saying that the snake somehow can, or maybe that the moisture in the stump, or the water the snake is partially in offers up vapor that helps keep the snake hydrated via breathing? I'm thinking this question is related to why I can put lotion on my hands and in a few minutes the gooey, slick stuff is gone and my hands seem to have sucked in the moisture, BUT if I just hold my hand in some water, my hand doesn't take in the water. Are scales any better at allowing moisture to pass through than skin, or is it just ambient moisture that the snake is absorbing through breathing and not losing moisture due to the humidity in that immediate area?

"Indeterminate growth." So that's why we can potentially have huuuuuge snakes, but are much more likely to have just regular-ol' run of the mill length snakes. So if there is a better than average environment for red-sided-blue-headed snakes (an example I made up), then other *large* red-sided-blue-headed snakes should be in the same or similar areas, because they are taking advantage of whatever that better than average environment is. In most animals, take humans for instance, there is simply a typical growth range, and the outliers are still within that range. At what point do the outliers turn a species into one with indeterminate growth? Can you give some examples of other creatures have indeterminate growth?

Oooo, now I have more terms to look up! Thanks!

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 11th, 2015, 1:40 pm
by Kelly Mc
Fish and amphibians are other examples of indeterminate growth. I do not know if it has been studied to determine which species.

Associated with indeterminate growth is lifespan.

I am convinced that captive lifespan notations are flawed, and that mortality of captive reptiles amphibians and fish are more influenced by externally applied conditions and bioaccumulation. Chronic tolerance to various factors is confused with adapting or goes under the radar. Eventually lowering resistance to disease and health morbidities.

The longer an organism lives, the more opportunity for factors to accumulate or effect. So when an indeterminate organism dies it seems like 'old age' when it aligns with an expectation of what is 'a long life' for this species or that one, depending on what we've heard or read, with no data whatsoever on actual influences or etiology.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 11th, 2015, 2:27 pm
by Hadar
BethH wrote:And they might partially be in water, which helps keep them from drying out, and I think someone said the water might even freeze some and things could still be ok. Now, if my skin freezes, I get frostbite. Does the snake?

And I believe (but don't know if this is true), that if a human is dehydrated, I have to ingest the liquid, I can't just go sit in a warm bath and absorb the moisture into my body. So is this saying that the snake somehow can, or maybe that the moisture in the stump, or the water the snake is partially in offers up vapor that helps keep the snake hydrated via breathing? I'm thinking this question is related to why I can put lotion on my hands and in a few minutes the gooey, slick stuff is gone and my hands seem to have sucked in the moisture, BUT if I just hold my hand in some water, my hand doesn't take in the water. Are scales any better at allowing moisture to pass through than skin, or is it just ambient moisture that the snake is absorbing through breathing and not losing moisture due to the humidity in that immediate area?
First of all Beth, humans are one of the lamest animals so in trying to understand other animals you can't always compare them to yourself. Here are a couple reasons why:
We only have 3 types of color photoreceptors (mantis shrimp have 12)
We can only survive 3 days without water (tortoises can survive up to a year without eating or drinking)
We can't breath through our skin (Plethodontidae are champions at this)
We don't have a multi-use hole (cloaca) that we can absorb water and electrolytes through (many reptiles don't actually have to drink but can sit in water and uptake the water they need by that means)
We can't regenerate limbs (salamanders got us beat)
We can't reproduce asexually (many species of fish, amphibians, birds, and reptiles can)
The list goes on...

BethH wrote: Can you give some examples of other creatures have indeterminate growth?
Fishes can be determinate or indeterminate growers. Typically the short-lived species in warmer regions exhibit determinate growth and long-lived species in colder regions exhibit indeterminate growth.

Cheers, Heather

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 11th, 2015, 2:48 pm
by Kelly Mc
Apex predators like crocodilians in the wild have more of a chance of growth during their indeterminate lifespan, than other reptiles like colubrids, which are such a mainstay food source for so many animals, albeit attaining 'adult' size.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 13th, 2015, 7:06 pm
by BethH
You've given me a LOT to think about, and some terms I can use to look up more information. Thank you.

Hadar, I love your list of why humans are lame!

Kelly Mc, I have looked at this paragraph about 10 times, and, well, someday I hope to understand some of it.

"I am convinced that captive lifespan notations are flawed, and that mortality of captive reptiles amphibians and fish are more influenced by externally applied conditions and bioaccumulation. Chronic tolerance to various factors is confused with adapting or goes under the radar. Eventually lowering resistance to disease and health morbidities."

The next paragraph makes perfect sense, though. :-)

Thanks for all your answers! Beth

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 13th, 2015, 7:23 pm
by Kelly Mc
Beth things like dietary excesses, exercise, temperatures and light wave disparities, low grade stressors, acute stressors, that are imposed over lengths of time.

Its often thought that herps in captivity have it cake easy and are in better shape than their wild counterparts, because they are provided with food and there is an absence of predation. But I don't think that's as true as it seems. living a long while may be in part a testament to tolerance of conditions.


Also Lifespans info are all over the place from one source to the next, and often just copied from one source to the next.



Edit to add

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 15th, 2015, 5:39 pm
by BethH
Your description makes the whole concept of lifestyle seem like a matter of good/bad choices--when you don't know what the good or bad choices are. Me, I shall eat chocolate!

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 15th, 2015, 8:02 pm
by Kelly Mc
An interesting thing about choices, or options is the opportunity to access them in nature is abundant, full of mishap but also dimensional in ways we've only begun to understand. It is an exciting thing to think about how much more will be revealed.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 17th, 2015, 5:21 pm
by Tim Borski
Telephone poles. Think about it...buried below the frost line so they don't "shift." With the correct substrate surrounding them they are golden.

Tim

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 17th, 2015, 8:11 pm
by BethH
But aren't telephone poles (supposed to be) solid? Wouldn't hunting for one that had a hollow spot... oh, are you saying BESIDE the phone pole? Like wiggle down beside the pole? If you do that, doesn't all the cold air come, too?

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 17th, 2015, 10:10 pm
by Joseph S.
I highly recommend Bernd Heinrichs book Winter World.

Very little on snakes specifically but lots of cool stuff on supercooling, torpor, and all other winter survival issues.

Anyone read Summer World? Is it in the same style as Winter World?

Amazing those snakes dont all end up with scale rot/blisters being wet and cold like that. I understand som folk have reported seeing wild snakes afflicted in early spring emerging from hibernacula.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 18th, 2015, 11:29 am
by MCHerper
Joseph S. wrote:I highly recommend Bernd Heinrichs book Winter World.

Very little on snakes specifically but lots of cool stuff on supercooling, torpor, and all other winter survival issues.

Anyone read Summer World? Is it in the same style as Winter World?

Amazing those snakes dont all end up with scale rot/blisters being wet and cold like that. I understand som folk have reported seeing wild snakes afflicted in early spring emerging from hibernacula.
Winter World was an awesome book! I never read summer world, maybe I'll check it out.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 19th, 2015, 6:22 am
by BethH
I'll put Winter World and Summer World on my reading list.

Is there a book that talks about the natural history of snakes? Or snake bahavior and "habits"? I'm hoping for something that's science/observation based, and not of the horror-stories in print type. I'd also prefer it not be for four year olds, but if it's fact based, I'd take it.

Beth

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 19th, 2015, 9:53 am
by Bryan Hamilton
BethH wrote:Is there a book that talks about the natural history of snakes? Or snake bahavior and "habits"? I'm hoping for something that's science/observation based, and not of the horror-stories in print type. I'd also prefer it not be for four year olds, but if it's fact based, I'd take it.
My favorite is Harry Greene's Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 19th, 2015, 3:05 pm
by MCHerper
Bryan Hamilton wrote:
BethH wrote:Is there a book that talks about the natural history of snakes? Or snake bahavior and "habits"? I'm hoping for something that's science/observation based, and not of the horror-stories in print type. I'd also prefer it not be for four year olds, but if it's fact based, I'd take it.
My favorite is Harry Greene's Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature
That's an outstanding book!

If it's your first book on the natural history of snakes, there is a book called Snakes in Question (Smithsonian Answer Book) by Ernst. Get the second edition. It's very good and gives a broad introduction to snake natural history with some appreciable depth.

Re: Where do snakes winter if there isn't a rocky den place?

Posted: December 21st, 2015, 4:03 pm
by BethH
Thank you for the book suggestions! Beth