The chinese Year of the Snake has special resonance for me and for many of my colleagues – based on the amount of celebratory email messages that have flooded my inbox to mark the prominent role of our favourite animals in 2013 as a snake biologist. It is about snakes that led Chinese culture to allot them a special status as one of the 12 animal symbols in their zodiac so I am led to ponder: what?
One clue into the snake’s status originates from the expected characteristics of individuals created when you look at the of the Snake year. Those sites we consulted with this subject had been contradictory – one web site stated that such everyone was ‘gregarious, introverted, substantial and dangerous’, a combination that is somewhat bewildering!
Nevertheless, many web sites agreed upon one trait: that snake-sign folks are slightly oversexed. And, having spent nearly all of profession investigating the intercourse everyday lives of serpents round the globe, I’m able to easily notice a basis for that website website link.
Until quite recently, we knew almost no about snake reproductive behavior. That which we did understand generally speaking arrived from anecdotal findings, mostly involving a few snakes connected because they slithered over the lawn.
Certainly, the sight of two big red-bellied black colored snakes involved with frenetic wrestling matches is amongst the great spectacles regarding the Australian bush in springtime. The scarlet bellies regarding the snakes – concealed in their normal activities – stick out considerably as the snakes raise their minds well above the ground, intertwining their health because they sway and topple back again to the floor.
Usually misinterpreted as a courtship display, or as real mating, these spectacular ‘dances’ are now ritualised combat bouts between competing men. Although seldom reported – most likely because snakes are therefore secretive – we now realize that combat behavior happens into the men of several snakes that are australian. Continue reading