RAUK - Archived Forum - snakes in knots?

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snakes in knots?:

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GemmaJF
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Joined: 25 Jan 2003
No. of posts: 2090


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Posted: 12 Sep 2004

Hi all,

I found a juvenile adder today under tin coiled in a tight knot or ball, this reminded me of a large female grass snake I found in early May this year in the open in the same sort of position. Weather both in May and today was around 19C and blustery with breaking sun. I've read of and seen various basking postures for snakes but have seen no reference to knotting, how often have others seen snakes in tight knots and what might be the advantage of it?

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Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
Robert V
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Joined: 06 Aug 2004
No. of posts: 717


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Posted: 13 Sep 2004

 

Gemma, pic on the way of adder in a knot (albeit not that clear). Not sure as to the reason though, unless it relates to ill health in the snake somehow. In close company to this one were two others but were in the "normal" basking position, so I would assume its not cool weather that brings on the reflex. R 

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RobV
GemmaJF
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Joined: 25 Jan 2003
No. of posts: 2090


View other posts by GemmaJF
Posted: 13 Sep 2004

Rob,

Neither the grassie nor the juvenile adder yesterday seemed in ill health, though both were torpid until handled. I did wonder if they were just asleep???!!!***!! Though why a grassie would be fast asleep in plain view is anyone∆s guess and I've not observed this behaviour in captive grassies in the past.

The one thing I did notice both times though was that the position seemed to expose as much of the ventral surface as possible, both species have predominantly black ventral surfaces so maybe it does do some good as a basking posture.


Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
GemmaJF
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Joined: 25 Jan 2003
No. of posts: 2090


View other posts by GemmaJF
Posted: 14 Sep 2004
Hi Rob didn't get the piccy until this morning. The adder and grassie were in much tighter knots, heads were totally hidden and the ventral surface was all that was exposed, so much so that on first spotting both of them I had to think twice about what I was actually looking at. If you have ever seen earthworms in knots in very dry weather, that's the nearest description I can give. They were not coiled at all, more like they had been tied into a ball. Unfortunately my camera refused to fire on Sunday when I first came across the adder :0(
Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
Robert V
Senior Member
Joined: 06 Aug 2004
No. of posts: 717


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Posted: 16 Sep 2004

 

Sounds weird Gemma, and very unlucky on the camera side. I'd still opt for ill health even though they looked well. Nothing I've read, just instinct if that makes sense!!!!!!!. I once kept Rough Green tree snakes from the US years ago and unfortunately they developed mouth rot which took forever to clear up. They used to ball up around the light so tight it looked positively painful. There you go, another bit of useless info.:0)


RobV

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