Why Are We Afraid of Snakes and How Do We Overcome That Fear?

To this day, I don’t know what compelled me to return to the scene of the slaughter. Morbid curiosity? I didn’t know it at the time, but watching the neighbor kids ruthlessly attack and kill the Gartersnake we had found in a cow pasture that day in the early 1990s would set off a chain […]

Phantoms of the Forest: The Secretive Nature of Timber Rattlesnakes

Timber Rattlesnakes, although very dangerous animals when harassed, rely first on their camouflage for defense, and last on their venom (with several steps in between). They are very docile animals that, under most circumstances, go to great lengths to avoid biting humans. In truth, if their objective was to bite and envenomate every passing human […]

North America’s Smallest Turtle

Eastern North America is home to one of the most diverse turtle faunas in the world, due in large part to the high number of freshwater turtle species inhabiting this region. This diverse group of turtles displays a wide variety of life histories, body sizes, colors, and preferred habitats. Globally, turtles are one of the […]

Smooth Greensnakes: My Most Abundant White Whale.

Ever since childhood I had a fondness for snakes and some of my earliest memories involve watching neighbor kids take a step back as I wrangled small serpents from ditches and rock piles (though I am not sure if my friends were distancing themselves out of fear or an aversion to most snakes’ typical defense: […]

Southern Hognose Snakes: Conservation for data-deficient species

            As the days shorten and the nights get cooler, many species become more active, searching for mates, trying to find one last meal before winter, or moving into overwintering habitat. This includes the Southern Hognose Snake (Heterodon simus) that can occasionally be found crossing sandy roads on cool fall days. Inhabiting areas with xeric, […]