Friday, May 17, 2013

Bully Bullsnake ---- NOT

     Driving down the road you see it sprawled on the road.  Snake! your passenger yells.  As you skid to a halt,  this serpent appears to be a full six feet long.  As you approach, it coils and starts to hiss and strike at you as if its going to kill you right there.  This Bullsnake is even rattling its tail to try to trick you into thinking its a rattlesnake.  Pretty ingenious!  But you are a herpetologist and have seen these antics many times.  Its a bluff, a ruse.  In Kansas, excepting real rattlesnakes and copperheads, no other snakes are any threat to humans. But these guys really put on a good show.  For herpers, this is classic entertainment at its best.  By far, most Bullsnakes which supply such dramatic performances almost immediately calm down and let you pick them up once they realize their huffy, belligerent attitude isn't scaring you away.  Oh what fun!

   Now this video has some audio problems for sure but I just wanted to share some of the behavior you'll see from this fascinating reptile.  Hissing, striking, rattling their tail, and huffing are all part of the act.  Oh yeah, they might actually get you with their tiny sharp teeth once in a while but just wash and you'll be absolutely fine.  These animals are quite entertaining and are one of the most common reptiles of the Kansas Outback.  (Going to invest in a good microphone honest.)

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