Best Actor Among Snakes
Best Actor Among Snake
By Benny Mazur from Toledo, OH - Hognose snake, full body viewUploaded by berichard, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8657627
The best actor among snakes is the hog-nosed snake or the puff-adder of North America.The Eastern Hog-nosed Snake, is a medium sized, stout-bodied, oviparous colubrid. The Eastern Hog-nosed Snake’s name comes from its unique, pig like snout. These snakes are 50 to 115 centimetres long and their appearance varies widely. Some are grey, brown, tan, olive, orange, yellow, reddish or pinkish with a distinctive pattern of irregular, often-square like dark blotches down the back. Some have less of a pattern with faint blotches. Others have no pattern at all and are typically plain grey, brown, olive or, in rare cases, black. The belly is often a mix of yellowish, grey, cream or pinkish shades.
With its stout body , rattler-like markings, and wicked looking head, it is a terrifying sight. But it is a completely harmless animal and knows it too! When cornered, it will put up a great show . Puffing out his neck to twice its normal size and hissing with a noise like a steam engine which can be heard some distance away . It will rear up and strike. A very alarming performance but pure bluff, for it strikes with its mouth closed! If this trick doesn’t work, it will try another . Suddenly it starts writhing with mouth gaping and tongue lolling out as though having an attack of convulsions. After a few minutes, it rolls over, on its back and 'dies'- that is, it will lie absolutely motionless. If one remains nearby , it will continue this for even ten minutes. Even if picked up, it will remain limp without showing any sign of life. It is a very fine piece of acting,but the puff-adder spoils it, if you turn it over . For it seems to think that a dead snake should lie only on its back and if turned over, it will turn right back again! If we hide, the ‘dead’ snake will cautiously raise its head, look round and if no one about, will crawl away with great speed!
Two speciesof hognose snakes, the southern and eastern hognose, are found in the southeastern United States. The two species are similar in many respects. Both have a name, hognose, which reflects the appearance of their upturned snouts.