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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1888 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2006 :  10:30:36  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
Sunday evening about 6pm I had just finished working on my shed and was on my way to put some tools away. I was a little preoccupied and barely noticed the rustling in a fairly large rhododendron bed or my 19 pound yellow tabby, Dusty, intently watching the same bed. With the number of squirrels that we have I thought Dusty was just waiting for an opportunity. A few steps later my focus was immediately shifted and just as intense as Dusty's when I was about 6-8 feet away from the source of the noise.

There before me was a pair of Eastern King snakes, with one of them pushing 48 inches and the other about 20% smaller. It was high energy match that I was able to watch for 3-4 minutes. It lasted until the larger snake effective pinned the head of the smaller to the ground for no more than 2 seconds. The smaller snake paused, uncoiled itself from the larger and tried to leave. The larger snake pursued, caught it within 15 feet. They briefly coiled and then uncoiled, and the smaller snake was allowed to leave.

The snake that remained seemed to be so full spit and vinegar that when I walked by he seemed to give me a look as if to say, “Hey, you want a piece of me too. Well, do ya?”

It was a pretty exciting back yard experience, though now I have to remember not to wear sandals into the natural areas that surround my house.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous

Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9680 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2006 :  10:52:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
Too bad you didn't have a camera or video. That would have been something to see.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1888 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2006 :  14:53:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

Too bad you didn't have a camera or video. That would have been something to see.


I did take one picture. I'll see if it is worth posting.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2006 :  15:28:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
That's a cool description, moakley. I'm looking forward to the photo, even if it's not perfect!


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2006 :  01:32:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
That was a male combat dance. There might or might not have been a female somewhere nearby but the chances are that there was. You doubtless noticed that there was no biting or real constricting. These dances are as formal as any ceremony we have, are a test of endurance more than strength, and can continue for hours.

It's very common among serpents but seldom seen. I have observed it in the field and among my residents, but never with kingsnakes.

You were fortunate -- looking forward to the pic!




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1888 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2006 :  04:30:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by filthy

That was a male combat dance. There might or might not have been a female somewhere nearby but the chances are that there was. You doubtless noticed that there was no biting or real constricting. These dances are as formal as any ceremony we have, are a test of endurance more than strength, and can continue for hours.

It's very common among serpents but seldom seen. I have observed it in the field and among my residents, but never with kingsnakes.

You were fortunate -- looking forward to the pic!

I was hoping that you would respond. Telling this story outside of the forum got me accuse of being a voyeur.

It was very exciting to watch.

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2006 :  06:00:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
The best combat dance I've seen, in the field, was between timber rattlesnakes. Both were about 4 feet long and quite well matched. I don't know how long it had been going on before I found them, but I watched (cursing myself for no camera) for nearly two hours until they finally quit.

The second best was eastern pine snakes, two more big ones, and the third was couple of saw-scale vipers in a friend's collection. I've also seen it with copperheads and rat snakes.

Not all snakes dance. The boids (pythons and so forth) don't nor do garters and the nerodia species of watersnakes, among many others.

It's something that never gets tedious to watch, whatever the species and no matter how many times you've seen it.

Again, you have been blessed....




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2006 :  23:49:39   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
That is so cool! I love amazing animal encounters.
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