Animals & Wildlife Magazine

A Cautious Egress

By Danielduff84

Observation made August 26th, 2012. The first neonate to emerge from the shelter stone took a full four minutes to come out into the sun, and then another 10 minutes to fully leave its refugia. The original video footage is 25 minutes long, during which two baby horridus weave in and out of dappled sunlight trying to get comfortable. Something that has fascinated me for quite some time now is timber rattlesnake ethology, or their natural behavior, and I decided to start carrying a video recorder with me in the field. I quickly realized that just approaching and trying to film the snakes laying out would yield little, if any, footage of their natural behavior. So as quietly and respectfully as possible, I would approach familiar laying out spots, set my video recorder on the ground in as best a location as possible, and walk away hoping for the best. The original film was about 25 minutes long, which is condensed here. On my approach, the babies scurried away (some literally jumped [film coming soon]),but they were not long away in their hole before the desire to thermoregulate drew them back out again. Their re-emergence into the sun is what is seen here in this video.

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