Timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) living in the northeastern United States dwell in communal dens in the winter, before emerging in the spring to bask in the sun for several days at rock outcrops. They then migrate to surrounding areas to forage and mate. [Read full story]
Pregnant female timber rattlesnakes cluster together at birthing rookeries in New York state.
Females in the rookeries often cluster together in groups of six or more, as do snakes at basking sites.
Researchers have discovered juvenile snakes and pregnant females preferentially clustered with kin, suggesting these seemingly "loner" snakes may actually have social lives.
The researchers also found that once born, the juveniles from the same litter stuck together.
The team hopes to learn more about the social lives of timber rattlesnakes and other snakes, they said. [Read full story]