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Feb 24, 2010 9:02 AM CST
|One more s~n~a~k~e tale. |
I drive a small car, a Miata convertible. One day I stopped my car at my mailbox and heard a strange sorta puffing noise on the passenger side of the car.
First thought, "I have a flat tire and the noise was air coming out of the tire." Wrong!! I looked out the window and right into the face of a COBRA!!!! I sat there trying to decide what to do. The car window is at least 30" off the ground so this Cobra had to be over 3 foot long to look in my car window. I thought that maybe it had escaped from my neighbors house. Sounds like something that they would have. LOL
I sure didn't want a Cobra sliding off into the woods around my house.
About that time one of my old Farmer neighbors came driving up and in his old Southern farmer drawl said "MS Betty, ju kno yure car tire is sitting on a spreading Adder Snake??" At first I was relieved that it wasn't a Cobra, then I asked "What's a Spreading Adder, is it some type of Cobra?" He kidded me about that for years. No Pictures of this one. LOL
Feb 24, 2010 5:56 PM CST
Composting and vermicomposting
Feb 24, 2010 7:16 PM CST
|Good one, huh? Took me forever to track her down to get permission to post it!|
Feb 24, 2010 7:38 PM CST
|I'm glad that she gave permission. I don't have a clue what adder snakes look like, but I'm going to google it to make sure. I think I would have been a big ole mess if I looked out my car window and saw a snake looking back at me. |
Composting and vermicomposting
Feb 25, 2010 8:45 AM CST
|Better outside the car...than in!|
Mar 24, 2010 8:27 PM CST
|Your story was so interesting I had to search it out. Very facinating how this snake makes its breathing sound and looks like a cobra. |
I would have been scared out of my wits to see that. Here is what I found.
Many people have heard of the “spreading adder.” The name comes from the disturbed snake’s tendency to spread its neck – reminiscent of a cobra – so people think it mimics the cobra (photo). Mimicry works only if imposters mimic something in their own habitat. Otherwise, nothing is fooled by the copy. Cobras do not occur in North America, so our snake, also known as the Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platyrhinos), cannot mimic it.
So why does the hognose spread its neck? It’s a bluff to make the snake look large and imposing. Another bluff is to play dead. The snake rolls onto its back and lays there. This behavior would make the snake easy to kill, so why would the snake do it? Most predators eat what they kill (otherwise, they would be scavengers). If a potential food item looks sick or dead, most predators have little interest in eating it.
These snakes are harmless. If you find such a snake playing dead, you can repeatedly turn it back over, and it will turn over again. The snake wants to convince you that something is wrong with it, so it keeps going “belly up.”
The hognose sometimes makes an impressive noise by exhaling a blast of air, resulting in another common name: “hissing adder.” Although the snake may seem scary when spreading, hissing, or playing dead, it eats toads for a living. Toads also like to swell up when threatened, so the snake uses a special longer tooth to puncture the lungs of the toad, so it can be swallowed more easily. To see photos of the process of eating a toad, click here .
Although this snake is harmless, to an untrained eye it may look like a copperhead or cottonmouth, so it is much better not to experiment with these behaviors unless you are absolutely certain of the identification of the snake. Further complicating identification, variations in coloration are common in individuals, even from the same geographical area