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Wild Love Stories; Rattlesnakes: “A Tail Of Serpent Seduction”

Posted on: Feb 12, 2021 / News / 0 COMMENTS















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Wild Love Stories

A Tail of Serpent Seduction

By Kenny Perez

Rattlesnakes are perhaps the absolute last animal you’d think of when it comes to love. After all, any reptile known for its deadly venom and fear-inducing rattle must be the epitome of apathy and spite, right?



Photo by Carl Flint

Not so! Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus helleri) are actually quite social and passionate creatures. During spring, when their biological clocks start ticking again, the female rattlesnake will release pheromones into the air to signal to nearby males that she’s looking for love. With their incredibly powerful sense of smell, it doesn’t take long for any males in the area to come slithering. Here is where it gets interesting.

If two males are pursuing the same female, they will vie for dominance in a ritual often called the “combat dance.” During the combat dance, each male will raise up to a third of his body vertically off the ground in an attempt to intimidate their rival. If the rival doesn’t immediately back down, each male will twist around the other opponent and attempt to throw them to the ground.  This wrestling match will continue until one of the males backs down. Some combat dances have been documented lasting well over a half hour!

Once a victor has been declared, he will track down the female and begin courting her. In a display that might be otherwise seen as love or affection in other species, the male will court the female by rubbing her back with his chin and touching her with his tongue. Sssteamy!

These many different love stories can be a metaphor for supporting non-profit organizations like the Bolsa Chica Conservancy. Whether you chose to Volunteer your time, Donate Today, or just spread the word of an organization, these strategies can all have equal success! Go to www.bolsachica.org and choose which strategy works best for you!
 

Donate to the Bolsa Chica Conservancy Today!

Donate when you shop at Ralphs — at NO COST to you!  Click below and Show Love for your favorite wetland when shopping for essentials in 2021! 

SHOW LOVE for the Bolsa Chica Wetlands in 2021 when you Sign up for Ralph’s Community Contribution Program, and Ralph’s will donate a percentage of your purchases to the Bolsa Chica Conservancy at no additional cost to you.

Good for purchases made at Ralph’s, Food4Less, and other Kroger grocery chains. Sign up today! (BCC’s NPO number is IB835.)

Click here to Learn More and Sign up Today!




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