Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More Egg Shells

A few weeks ago, I talked about a nest of scattered egg shells that I thought belonged to a snake. Now I’ve found a similar, and much fresher, nest about 200 feet from the first. This nest seems to have been exposed by a running deer and then superficially investigated by some other predator. A snake nest now seems even more likely.

I think this nest successfully hatched before it was exposed. All of the eggs bore these same slits that are similar to what I’ve seen in several snake species.

A lot of the eggs were still buried and were fully hydrated like the egg to this right in this shot. The egg to the left was dried and shrunken like the eggs from the first nest.

You can see the shape of the deer hoof that pushed through into the animal burrow and threw out some eggs shells. The burrow itself resembled an abandoned mole tunnel. I wonder if the snake was eating the mole as it laid its eggs.

The eggs within the animal burrow spanned a distance of about 12 inches. I probed both directions in the tunnel and pulled out all remaining egg shells. The total clutch was at least 28 eggs. I may have to start calling this place Snake Knob.

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