Loving mother rattlesnake carefully tends to her babies
When we think of rattlesnakes, many of us think of them as being emotionless and heartless creatures. We tend to focus on the fact that they are venomous and capable of killing a person, or at least rendering them very ill. But the truth is that some species of rattlesnakes are actually nurturing and loving creatures that care for and protect their young. And contrary to popular belief, many rattlesnakes are not capable of killing a healthy adult. They are also very unlikely to bite a human unless they are threatened. Rattlesnakes would never try to eat a person and would only strike defensively.
This timber rattlesnake actually demonstrates the protective side of motherhood, even existing among reptiles. She carefully extends her head and neck to reach and check her offspring, keeping a careful eye on them as they explore the area around their nest. A new mother, approximately five years old, this would likely be her first litter. She has five adorable babies that have recently been born. She will stay with her brood until they are ten to fourteen days old. She protects them from predators and rests after her labor. As she grows and matures, she will breed again, having another litter in two or three years. The second litter will have twelve to thirteen babies.
Although timber rattlesnakes once inhabited Canada, they have vanished, and only exist in some of the United States. These biologists have located a nest and are documenting their find, along with estimates of size, and important data relating to offspring and overall health.
Snakes are essential to a healthy ecosystem and many people don't realize what a crucial role they play in preventing many diseases that would affect humans. Because they prey on mice, rats, and other rodents, they help control the spread of hantavirus, Lyme disease, rabies, and many other diseases for which rodents are the vectors. Without snakes, people would face an increase in many serious health challenges.
Rodents would also overpopulate and cause other imbalances in our delicate ecosystem. Snakes are one of nature's most misunderstood and undervalued animals. And who would have ever thought that they have such impressive mothering instincts?