Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Resurrection

On this afternoon's hike we ran up on this ferocious character...
This is a Heterodon platirhinos, sometimes called a hognose snake, because of the armored nose scales which help it dig up toads in the mud. It is a totally fearsome beast...Rumored to be so venomous that if it accidentally bites itself it will die immediately.

And then a miracle happens...The Resurrection!

These snakes have specialized rear fang teeth that they will absolutely not use to bite a human with, but which some think can puncture toads when they puff up to avoid being swallowed by a snake. Although they are completely harmless to humans and are absolutely not venomous as we normally think of it, hognose snakes use coloration and a vicious attitude to scare people, which usually gets them done in unless you know what they are. This one has a near perfect copperhead/rattlesnake mimicry. Last time we saw him he was headed for safety in the leaves.


  1. I did not know that and I will still be afraid when I see one.

  2. Okay, I'd have lost it about then! Hate snakes!