GETTING IN TOUCH WITH NATURE -- Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves
of strength that will endure as long as life lasts." ~ Rachel Carson
BABY GARTER SNAKE PLAYS DEAD
I found a baby garter snake yesterday evening as I was walking from my car to my front door. It was masterfully playing dead! It was no bigger than a short, thick shoelace. I picked it up to get a closer look. It was limp and not moving, but his body felt soft and cool. I thought it had died a very short time ago. I started to photograph him so I could identify him later (I know little about snakes) and then his mouth opened! I was so glad he was alive! It kept opening and closing, but not a muscle in his whole body moved anywhere else. I could pick him up and position him anyway I wanted and he wouldn't so much as flinch. What an incredible self defense mechanism! It's funny how "baby life" of any sort can be cute. I don't normally describe a snake as cute, but this little guy was so tiny I have to admit he was pretty adorable although the pictures don't offer the size perspective to capture the cutie pie that he was.
i hope my pet snake is just playing dead. if he isn't i am heart broken...so glad i could find this out though. it has given me new hope
I found your story looking for other baby snakes that dramatize playing dead. We have one. I took a picture and a few seconds later the snake stretched up then slowly laid its head over until it reached a place laying down!! It is only 5" long black with green stripes whitish belly. One exception I can't find is one perfect white dot on back of its neck.
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