An Ontogeny of Spatial Use in Sidewinders

Pardo, Juanita jpardo6@gatech.edu

School of Biological Sciences Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA USA

Taylor, Ashley Department of Herpetology Zoo Atlanta Atlanta, GA USA

Dallas, Hannah

Weigel, Emily School of Biological Sciences Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA USA

Mendelson III, Joseph R. Department of Research Zoo Atlanta

Atlanta, GA USA

School of Biological Sciences Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA USA

We reared five full-sibling sidewinders in identical enclosures for one year and monitored their physical position and posture (hunting vs. non-hunting) daily for their first year of life. Pre-printed grid-marked paper substrates and identically designed and situation hide boxes and water bowls were included in each enclosure. We also noted where each snake had a feeding "success" in order to test the hypothesis that these ambush hunters would spend proportionally more time in "successful ambush sites" over the course of the year. Prey was presented in such a way that no scent-trail cues were available to the snakes to use to inform/bias their choice of ambush sites. Data analyses are still underway, but emergent patterns are becoming clear and will be reviewed in the presentation.


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