Sunday, March 27, 2011

Baby snake

Deanna was given a tiny baby snake to identify while dropping Tayen off at kinda last week. She immediately identified the snake as a Brown Tree Snake, Boiga irregularis. The person who brought it in had found her daughter playing with it, and had since found 15 more of them around the house. The snakes had obviously just hatched, and were beginning to disperse.

Brown Tree Snakes belong to the family Colubridae; solid toothed and rear-fanged snakes. This particular species has rear-fangs and mild venom, and although they can be defensive at times, rarely do bites on humans cause envenomation. At this size they are quite harmless, and this little one was not the least bit aggressive.

We released the little snake in a tree on our front lawn. If it is lucky it will find food in the form of small skinks, geckos and frogs. If it survives to an adult it will graduate to small birds and mammals. Like all young animals in the wild, surviving this first period is the toughest. These snakes don't get any assistance from their parents, so from day one they are on their own.

The newly hatched snake on Deanna's hand

The snake resting under leaves in a tree. In the morning it had moved on.

The snake's key sensor; the tongue collects samples from the air and transfers them to a specialised organ on the roof of the mouth.

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