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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 8:01 am 
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Startle displays are, now I hope you can follow my logic because it's apparently difficult for you, are meant to startle. Birds can be highly neophobic, and thus a startle display can give them enough pause for a snake to escape. This is likely a target for birds as they are sensitive to long wavelengths (reds, oranges, yellows), which you'll note, is what the ventral colors of ringnecks are.


Your logic is incomplete. You failed to take into account or do not understand all the behavioral aspects of the snakes that employ the discussed defense strategy.

Snakes that use the tail flashing defense use it any situation where they feel threatened. They do not always simply flash their bright colors to buy time and then try to run. They display these colors often times with tail wagging or little movement and patiently maintain the pose until the perceived threat is determined to be gone. The predator is not distracted or startled while the snake escapes. The snake holds it ground. The predator questions the safety of latching on to its potential meal and abandons it. Its a behavior that would be more useful against a predator that stalks its prey as opposed to visual quick strike from above predator in which case the snakes cryptic dark top coloration would be of more value. This behavior also cast serious doubt on the "Disruptive coloration. It's possible, for sure" theory as it was categorized.

"Grizzly Bears eat fish, but I'm not about to use them as a model of coral reef fish predation. "

That is smart of you because Grizzly Bears don't inhabit coral reefs. But again the analogy falls flat because the members of the mammalian taxon I listed are voracious snake predators to be sure, coexist in the same habitats and have life styles that would allow them to have frequent interaction's with "Tri color snakes". The use of these mammal's as a model for mammalian tri color snake predation encounters makes perfect sense. Grizzly Bears eating reef fish not so much.

Ernie Eison


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 11:24 am 

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WSTREPS wrote:
In a pervious post you made the same mistaken assumption. Snakes that use the tail flashing defense use it any situation where they feel threatened avian or otherwise. They do not always simply flash their bright colors to buy time and then try run. They display these colors often times with little movement and patiently maintain the pose until the perceived threat is determined to be gone. A behavior that is indicative of a deliberate warning defense and not a flash and run startle defense. This behavior would also cast serious doubt on the "Disruptive coloration. It's possible, for sure" theory.


Another startle display is one often shown by silkmoths where they have eye spots on their hindwings that are hidden by their forewings. When disturbed, they lift up their forewings to display these spots. That's often the only thing they do. It's still a startle display. The moths are completely edible. It's meant to give predators pause because a lot of predators (like birds) are very neophobic. It falls under a startle display. You also haven't demonstrated the second component necessary for aposematic signaling to work. A secondary defense. Yes, ringnecks have pretty potent saliva, but the reality is that they 1) rarely bite and 2) have mouths so small that they're not likely to deter even moderate sized predators. So where, again, is your evidence of aposematism?

As for disruptive coloration, the purpose of this is to break up an individual's shape, which this would do, so I do not see how whatever you said casts doubt on it. You're obviously just arguing to argue. It typically is used with cryptic coloration, but there's no reason why this couldn't fit the definition.

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Grizzly Bears eat fish, but I'm not about to use them as a model of coral reef fish predation. That is smart of you because Grizzly Bears don't inhabit coral reefs. But the analogy falls flat because all the mammalian taxon I listed commonly predate on snakes, coexist in the same habitats and have life styles that would allow them to have frequent interaction's with "Tri color snakes" . The idea of their defense strategies is to prevent them from being an important part predators of a predators diet.


Really. Australian marsupials, of which your citation was referencing (Honey Possum and Fat-Tailed Dunnart - both are so small that they're more likely to be snake food than prey upon snakes), not only overlap with tricolor snakes but also prey upon them. That's one serious range extension.

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It was very EASY for me to pick out MonarchzMan as a grad student from the form and content of his responses. What they reveled about him. Strange wrongful analogies ranging from grizzly bears to cardinals and dogs, the unexplained implied response that I had lied. The broad sweeping comments about what think and understand etc. Are greater indicator of a persons true knowledge level then boastful comments about their expertise.
[/quote]

The cognitive dissonance here is pretty astounding. I am an expert in color evolution and aposematism. There's no point in denying it. I ask again, how much experience do you have? You're pretty remarkably light on your citations supporting your positions.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 11:50 am 
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Its really too bad ErnieRoo can't play nice. I wish someone would send him to time out.

This was a cool discussion, but now its all lost in the rants. I had some thoughts but I'll hold off on sharing them.

Ernie is the same guy that claimed its impossible to model reptile populations. In Ernie's mind, if you can't explain it all, yoU caN'T exPLAIN NOTHIN'!


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 1:16 pm 

Joined: September 8th, 2011, 5:12 pm
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Bryan Hamilton wrote:
Its really too bad ErnieRoo can't play nice. I wish someone would send him to time out.

This was a cool discussion, but now its all lost in the rants. I had some thoughts but I'll hold off on sharing them.

Ernie is the same guy that claimed its impossible to model reptile populations. In Ernie's mind, if you can't explain it all, yoU caN'T exPLAIN NOTHIN'!


It's all too true. I hope those interested are gleaning information from my posts because this topic is quite interesting. It's just too bad that Ernie can't admit ignorance and deference to someone who actually knows what they're talking about. Could be so much more productive a conversation.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 1:37 pm 
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You also haven't demonstrated the second component necessary for aposematic signaling to work. A secondary defense. Yes, ringnecks have pretty potent saliva, but the reality is that they 1) rarely bite and 2) have mouths so small that they're not likely to deter even moderate sized predators. So where, again, is your evidence of aposematism?


I have to demonstrate the second component necessary for aposematic signaling to work in this instance? You cant figure out the very simple answer. Especially since you actually know what your talking about. They musk.

There is a another possibility in addition to aposematic signaling and startle display as to the purpose of the snakes tail waving display that has been studied but not discussed here. Since your an expert I don't need to tell you what it is. Google save me.......

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Really. Australian marsupials, of which your citation was referencing (Honey Possum and Fat-Tailed Dunnart - both are so small that they're more likely to be snake food than prey upon snakes), not only overlap with tricolor snakes but also prey upon them. That's one serious range extension.


What I said . Members of the mammalian taxon I listed are voracious snake predators to be sure. Taxon not species. Probably not the right term but none the less. It is more encompassing to the point. My posted citations included statements involving vision traits of species found within a family. Specie's found in families such as the listed Mustelidae and Marsupials share similar traits. These families are wide spread over the regions occupied by "Tri color snakes".

"Tri color" is a loose generic term mostly used to describe snakes having a banded pattern made up of three colors and is not well suited or accurate to the point of discussion as it marginalizes the complete picture. Many snakes that fall squarely into the main point of the topic are not "Tri color" as the loose generic term is commonly thought of. That should be clarified for the people that aren't experts.


Ernie Eison


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 6:04 pm 

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WSTREPS wrote:
What I said . Members of the mammalian taxon I listed are voracious snake predators to be sure. Taxon not species. Probably not the right term but none the less. It is more encompassing to the point. My posted citations included statements involving vision traits of species found within a family. Specie's found in families such as the listed Mustelidae and Marsupials share similar traits. These families are wide spread over the regions occupied by "Tri color snakes".


And what you said is pretty stupid, to put it bluntly. You're going so broad as to be useless. That's like saying since humans are eutherian mammals and have trichromacy vision, then all eutherian mammals are capable of trichromacy, which simply is not the case. Please do tell me that you understand that mustelidae (a family) and marsupials (infracass) are vastly different scales. The fact of the matter is that your citations looked at honey possums (Tarsipedidae) and fat-tailed dunnarts (Dasyuridae). Both Australian marsupials. To extend trends so far beyond them is quite foolish. That would be like looking at a coral snake and a viper and saying, they're both venomous, so all (or even most) must be venomous.

Just because I know you won't do it, I looked up the Virginia Opossum which is basal to Australian marsupials. It does not have color vision. Shocker. Trichromacy in Australian marsupials is a derived trait, not an ancestral one, as you suggest.

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"Tri color" is a loose generic term mostly used to describe snakes having a banded pattern made up of three colors and is not well suited or accurate to the point of discussion as it marginalizes the complete picture. Many snakes that fall squarely into the main point of the topic are not "Tri color" as the loose generic term is commonly thought of. That should be clarified for the people that aren't experts.


I am still waiting for any evidence at all that supports your assertions. Like I said, your insistence is not evidence. I'd like to see that mammals are avoiding the tricolor phenotype because of the colors, not because of the contrasts, as you are asserting.

I'm also waiting for your experience. We both know you have none.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 6:21 pm 
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Having good instincts is a great thing. Being able to use your instincts in your life's work, is the greatest most satisfying way to live. We use our instincts along with building our knowledge - it gives us valuable discernment to absorb or discard information. Over time our applications and their results create an interior mental laboratory. It is tempting to become enamored with our own laboratories, especially in eclectic genres.

This subject has concentrics that go beyond what a person can observe, or read unaccountably about or remember stuff we know, without prerequisite overview.

If we are sincerely interested in any topic when someone else has some tools we dont have we should check it out. There are sanctums of evolutionary genetics, biochemistry, advanced mathematics and more to this subject that I will probably never fully grasp, but i am actually interested enough try, and thankful enough that someone who has learned it, has taken the time to talk with me just because I asked.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 7:23 pm 
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As for disruptive coloration, the purpose of this is to break up an individual's shape, which this would do, so I do not see how whatever you said casts doubt on it. You're obviously just arguing to argue. It typically is used with cryptic coloration, but there's no reason why this couldn't fit the definition.


The above statement was a response to a point raised about tail flashing defense and its use in snakes. The purpose of disruptive coloration in a defensive context is to break up an individual's shape. True. The predator loses track of the prey. The animal disappears. There is an obvious reason why it does not fit the definition in this case. Tail displays are meant to be seen. When snakes use tail displays they are not trying to disappear from the predator's view. Snakes use tail displays as a visual deterrent until the threat is gone. The snake does not slip away due to distraction (losing sight of the prey), the predator rejects it because of the visual deterrent and aborts the attack.

I used ringneck snakes because its common and familiar example of a species that uses a tail flashing defense with contrasting top and bottom colors.

There is a another possibility in addition to aposematic signaling and startle display as to the purpose of the snakes tail waving display that has been studied but not discussed here. Can any resident expert tell us what it is? Another expert level question. Within the realm of predators for "Tri color" snakes what would the top predator be? And can we be sure that this is the top predator of these snakes.

Ernie Eison


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 7:40 pm 

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WSTREPS wrote:
The above statement was a response to a point raised about tail flashing defense and its use in snakes. The purpose of disruptive coloration in a defensive context is to break up an individual's shape. True. The predator loses track of the prey. The animal disappears. There is an obvious reason why it does not fit the definition in this case. Tail displays are meant to be seen. When snakes use tail displays they are not trying to disappear from the predator's view. Snakes use tail displays as a visual deterrent until the threat is gone. The snake does not slip away due to distraction (losing sight of the prey), the predator rejects it because of the visual deterrent and aborts the attack.

I used ringneck snakes because its common and familiar example of a species that uses a tail flashing defense with contrasting top and bottom colors.


You just don't know when to give up. Disruptive coloration is meant to break up an animal from a predictable shape. Tail flashing, as in ringnecks, provides a markedly different pattern from the dorsum, thus would break up a shape. As I said, it is possible, but like aposematism, it has not been looked at, to my knowledge. And you've provided no evidence to the contrary. Just your uninformed and inexperienced opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 8:10 pm 
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You just don't know when to give up. Disruptive coloration is meant to break up an animal from a predictable shape. Tail flashing, as in ringnecks, provides a markedly different pattern from the dorsum, thus would break up a shape. As I said, it is possible, but like aposematism, it has not been looked at, to my knowledge. And you've provided no evidence to the contrary. Just your uninformed and inexperienced opinion.


Now who is arguing just to argue. You didn't know that ringsnakes musk you probably shouldn't calling someone else uninformed and inexperienced. Any answers for my expert questions ? You are an expert.

Ernie Eison


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 8:17 pm 

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WSTREPS wrote:
Now who is arguing just to argue. You didn't know that ringsnakes musk you probably shouldn't calling someone else uninformed and inexperienced. Any answers for my expert questions ? You are an expert.


I'm not arguing. I'm lecturing a particularly dense student who doesn't know or understand even the most basic concepts in the course he is taking.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 8:50 pm 
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Obviously its time to put a baby on board sign on MonarchzMans post.

If anyone would like to offer some comments or answers to the presented information and questions in the post below, have at it.

Ernie Eison

The purpose of disruptive coloration in a defensive context is to break up an individual's shape. True. The predator loses track of the prey. The animal disappears. There is an obvious reason why it does not fit the definition in this case. Tail displays are meant to be seen. When snakes use tail displays they are not trying to disappear from the predator's view. Snakes use tail displays as a visual deterrent until the threat is gone. The snake does not slip away due to distraction (losing sight of the prey), the predator rejects it because of the visual deterrent and aborts the attack.

I used ringneck snakes because its common and familiar example of a species that uses a tail flashing defense with contrasting top and bottom colors.

There is a another possibility in addition to aposematic signaling and startle display as to the purpose of the snakes tail waving display that has been studied but not discussed here. Can any resident expert tell us what it is? Another expert level question. Within the realm of predators for "Tri color" snakes what would the top predator be? And can we be sure that this is the top predator of these snakes.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 8:58 pm 

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Serious question. Why do you expect someone to answer your questions when you refuse to answer theirs? More cognitive dissonance.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 18th, 2017, 5:15 pm 
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WSTREPS wrote:

I have to demonstrate the second component necessary for aposematic signaling to work in this instance? You cant figure out the very simple answer. Especially since you actually know what your talking about. They musk.


Ernie Eison


The second component necessary? It sounds like you are talking about robots, not animals in an almost limitless array of scenarios and stimuli.

There are no Second Components. Only factor intensities and accessory values.

Who made Musk a second component? To aposemetic signaling?


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 18th, 2017, 5:16 pm 
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Oh, you did.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 18th, 2017, 6:06 pm 

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Kelly Mc wrote:
The second component necessary? It sounds like you are talking about robots, not animals in an almost limitless array of scenarios and stimuli.

There are no Second Components. Only factor intensities and accessory values.

Who made Musk a second component? To aposemetic signaling?


Aposematic signaling has two parts to it, the signal (primary defense) and the secondary defense (often chemical, but really anything that conveys unpalatability or unprofitability). That said, I am skeptical of musk being a sufficient secondary defense, however. Natricines, for example, musk, but by and large lack conspicuous coloration (at least in the US, I'm hard pressed to think of one).

The perpetual paradox with aposematic signaling is that you need each for the defense to work. If you just have a conspicuous signal, you increase visibility and risk of predation. If you just have a secondary defense, you risk that predators will not be able to remember to avoid predation on future encounters. It's been quite a perplexing phenomenon.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 18th, 2017, 7:12 pm 
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I understand what you have explained from the above.

I did not understand how musking fit in as a secondary, the way Ernie set it up to a drum roll, as all snakes have cloacal glands, and musk is composed of fats and various non injurious chemistry depending on species and even sex, and to my knowledge no animal has ever been poisoned by it, sometimes snakes do not excrete it, or excrete very little or predators can be impervious to it.

I have handled ringnecks that didnt musk at all but had tendency to flip the last quandrants of their very long bodies in my hand (oddly long proportionately, if you really look and compare to other small ground dwelling snakes)

I have had rock pythons vigorously musk me. And many others. I find the small of human scalps sitting next to me on the bus much more unpleasant.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 18th, 2017, 7:41 pm 

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Kelly Mc wrote:
I did not understand how musking fit in as a secondary, the way Ernie set it up to a drum roll, as all snakes have cloacal glands, and musk is composed of fats and various non injurious chemistry depending on species and even sex, and to my knowledge no animal has ever been poisoned by it, sometimes snakes do not excrete it, or excrete very little or predators can be impervious to it.


Noxious smell can serve as a secondary defense for an aposematic signal. Skunks have been shown to be aposematic, for example. But as you say, lots of snakes musk, but coloration doesn't seem to correlate with it.

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I have handled ringnecks that didnt musk at all but had tendency to flip the last quandrants of their very long bodies in my hand (oddly long proportionately, if you really look and compare to other small ground dwelling snakes)


I've handled a number of ringnecks too, and have never been musked. They are quick to show that ventral coloration, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 18th, 2017, 8:28 pm 
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Ah I get it. The skunk gives a really vivid illustration. I was off point focusing on stressor variables inciting the employ of accessories like toxic extrudate and stingers and things.

But I understand it better - thanks.

I am not embarrassed whatsoever to have my learning process on this topic happen publicly.

You are an excellent teacher.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 19th, 2017, 7:43 am 
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Tail-coiling behavior has been discussed in scientific literature for 100 yrs. The possibility that tail flashing / tail coiling is used as a form of disruptive coloration is a slim one when all the factors surrounding the behavior are taken into account. Nowhere in scientific literature is the idea that disruptive coloration might serve as a function of tail flashing mentioned. I used ringneck snakes as a common example but tail coiling is seen in many species of snakes. Many do not have a markedly different dorsum pattern. They look the same top and bottom.

For all species that use tail-coiling as a defense fleeing is the first option. Tail-coiling is used when the animal is unable to escape. Some snakes use sound (loud cloacal popping) in conjunction with tail-coiling to alarm potential predators. A defensive ploy that is based on the predator knowing where the snake is.

Other defenses associated with tail-coiling all involve the snake warding off the attack while being in view of the predator. It has been studied that tail-coiling might be a decoy mechanism diverting the attack from the head to the tail. Findings from this study examining if tail-coiling in ringneck snakes is used as a flash display or decoy (it could be both) suggests that tail-coiling is employed as a decoy, displacing predator attack to the tail. This defensive strategy again is based on the predator knowing where the snake is.

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Ringneck snakes also release a musky contrivance of liquid feces and uric acid that is smeared upon its attacker (Ernst and Barbour 1989; Fitch 1975).


Ernie Eison


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 19th, 2017, 5:42 pm 
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Ernie you mentioned other tail coiling guys of uniform color, it struck me as an obvious reminder that predators do not only perceive contrast, but mass.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 19th, 2017, 6:05 pm 
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Ernie I think you should know from someone who has actually tried to like you, and wanted to talk to you, that there is an emotionally fueled stubbornness that comes off in your posts that gives off the impression that you have chosen your views and composed them purely to engage with MonarchzMan in an opposing spirit.

I dont think you really even have the views you have of this topic but are winging it as you go along.

I actually had to be careful writing this post, to leave out anything about tails, musk, colors, contrast and feces so as not to provide you with new material to create more unnecessary creative dissent.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 28th, 2017, 8:00 pm 
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Feature detection and image processing in the vision of predators has been achieved in research - I mentioned the Neuroethology of Toads study. So it can and has been done, just not in enough species. So there is no need to argue, just explore our views, and I think if we are really interested we can learn from the stewardship of someone who has studied the data - for instance - the second component that Monarchzman described. That was just one of many solid points I had no knowledge of.

I have found a kind of converse ring to this topic that reminds me of things I have explored in practice of my own explorations in food recognition, reticent feeders, prey specialists and habituation/food item conversion of captive reptiles.

I have found that combined cues work together to incite acceptance the best, even in the absence of a very significant cue, like movement, for an example.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 29th, 2017, 11:32 am 
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And Ernie your many of your points have strong merit - snakes seem to operate on an instinctive per the expendability of the tail, even an injury to the hemipene can be survivable, and severe injuries to the tail that breach blood nourishment can necrose and demarcate in a gradual narrowing of eventual fall off.

But its the making of points a kind of mooting contest that muddles things up.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 29th, 2017, 12:09 pm 
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Snake tails interest me, its the most expendable portion of a linear body, yet a snake's tail is fully innervated, with complete sets of muscle fibers and bone all the way to the tip.

Snake tails are dimensional. Most things are.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 29th, 2017, 12:41 pm 
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The only thing I know about snakes is that they are slimy. But just winging it.

Mimicry is one of the most studied aspects of snake ecology and behavior. Joe Slowinski was one of the worlds foremost EXPERTS on the subject. Joey ended up taking a dirt nap courtesy of a bite he received from a snake he thought was a harmless mimic, Oops.

The most common form of mimicry studied involves colouration and behavioural traits seen in over fifty species coral snakes (Leptomicrurus, Micrurus and Micruroides ) and the more then a hundred species of various Aniliidae and Colubridae that imitate them (Batesian mimicry). There are precise resemblances to coral snakes in coloration and behavior seen in sympatric harmless species but one study concluded that mimicry complexes may not rely upon perfect signal matching and distributional overlap. Almost 20% of all New world snakes are considered by experts to be coral snake mimics. Coral snakes use a combination of coloration and behavioral traits to form a aposematic defense. Brightly colored patterns (particularly ringed/banded) are considered an effective antipredator strategy against both avian and mammalian predator's. But some species like the Laughing Falcon (snake specialist) do not seem to be deterred. Mertensian mimicry (another idea) was first proposed as a reason behind Coral Snake mimicry. In this scenario a mildly venomous species is the model for a highly venomous species. Another type of mimicry (Mullerian) has also been associated with snakes. This time two dangerous species copy each other with mutual benefits.

Snakes sometimes only adopt certain aspects of the mimicked species. Striped swamp snakes for example do not strike as a defense but will exhibit a gape and sway behavior (deimatic display) when threatened. Mimicking more noxious sympatric species like the venomous cottonmouth. Deimatic displays are secondary defenses that are only triggered by tactile predatory stimulation. Tail-Coiling a kind of unkenreflex action (a term generally associated with amphibians) revealing aposematic coloring. Has been potentially linked to caudal pseudoautotomy in addition to commonly associated defenses such as musking and decoying. Tail Coiling / flashing has been documented in over 70 snake species and essentially falls into three category's. Other common deimatic displays such as flatting and triangulation of the head and inflation of the throat are often seen in harmless species that are sympatric with venomous species that share the same behaviors.

Ernie Eison


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File comment: The striped swamp snake doesn't bite but will gape and sway to startle predators or mimic more noxious (e.g., water snakes, Nerodia spp.) , or venomous (e.g., cottonmouth) sympatric snakes that do bite. It will also coil its body into a ball, concealing its head and laterally flatten its body. Like most natricines, they commonly discharge cloacal contents or anal gland.
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File comment: Mud snakes use tail-Coiling and aposematic coloring when they get in a jam. The tail also ends in a sharp pointed scale that they use to poke.
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File comment: The Jackson's Tree snake is a dead ringer for a male Boomslang.
Jactree.jpg
Jactree.jpg [ 23.76 KiB | Viewed 2046 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 29th, 2017, 12:55 pm 
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Ok Ernie.

You know everything there is to know about the topic of mimicry. Nothing more to see here, or to think about.

Ernie has explained it all for us.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 29th, 2017, 1:03 pm 
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Mimicry is one of the most studied aspects of snake ecology and behavior. Joe Slowinski was one of the worlds foremost EXPERTS on the subject. Joey ended up taking a dirt nap courtesy of a bite he received from a snake he thought was a harmless mimic, Oops.
Why even bring this up? I'm not sure how its at all relevant, especially because eye witness accounts describe him reaching into a bag that he was told contained a harmless Dinodon sp., he didn't see the snake before it bit him.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 29th, 2017, 1:08 pm 
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But what happened to the color vision in mammals you were posting about before?


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 29th, 2017, 1:10 pm 
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Antonsrkn wrote:
Quote:
Mimicry is one of the most studied aspects of snake ecology and behavior. Joe Slowinski was one of the worlds foremost EXPERTS on the subject. Joey ended up taking a dirt nap courtesy of a bite he received from a snake he thought was a harmless mimic, Oops.
Why even bring this up? I'm not sure how its at all relevant, especially because eye witness accounts describe him reaching into a bag that he was told contained a harmless Dinodon sp., he didn't see the snake before it bit him.



Its because Ernie wouldnt have made that mistake, of course.

Everyone falls short of Ernie.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 29th, 2017, 2:05 pm 
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Ernie you are too easily offended. I have repeatedly commented on your experience on these forums, and have always remembered a kind comment you made to me once, years ago. I dont get many.

You made some interpretive commentary that struck a chord of unfamiliarity with some terms and concepts that Monarchzman described. Only an observation here, but I dont think you have the background to explain some of this stuff. Its not a crime, it doesnt mean you arent knowledgeable, but its detectable and that is what I meant by winging it.

And no, Im not going to court about it with quotes + message board dissection of sentences, complete with belittlement and insults. Not because Im afraid to engage with you, but because I dont want to like that. I have been caught up before like that here and it made me feel lousy after. But, Feel free to insult me, as I would be in good company.

I am pretty sure of one thing, and that is you know more about this topic and its tangentials from participating in this thread, than you did before it.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 29th, 2017, 3:06 pm 

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Antonsrkn wrote:
Quote:
Mimicry is one of the most studied aspects of snake ecology and behavior. Joe Slowinski was one of the worlds foremost EXPERTS on the subject. Joey ended up taking a dirt nap courtesy of a bite he received from a snake he thought was a harmless mimic, Oops.
Why even bring this up? I'm not sure how its at all relevant, especially because eye witness accounts describe him reaching into a bag that he was told contained a harmless Dinodon sp., he didn't see the snake before it bit him.


Not to mention I looked at his recent papers before he passed. He was a phylogeneticist. That does not mean he was an expert on mimicry. It means he was an expert on analyzing genetic patterns among taxa.

And I've said it before and I'll say it again. Bright colors do not necessarily make something aposematic. There are two components to aposematism. And I've not seen strong evidence that "musking" is a sufficient defense to be considered a secondary defense for aposematic signaling.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 30th, 2017, 9:25 am 
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'Musking'.. along with evacuating the cloacal vault, which often accompanies it is at an energy expense and electrolyte loss.

This is why I have avoided inciting it when I can, keeping ministrations and restraint expedient with sick, injured or ship shocked snakes. One reason of many. I have always kept in mind the prey status of snakes and the awareness that input is happening.

Its a panic response, and one that is not uncommon with other animals under intimate physical duress.

Are there such expenses in established secondary components?


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 30th, 2017, 6:14 pm 

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Kelly Mc wrote:
'Musking'.. along with evacuating the cloacal vault, which often accompanies it is at an energy expense and electrolyte loss.

This is why I have avoided inciting it when I can, keeping ministrations and restraint expedient with sick, injured or ship shocked snakes. One reason of many. I have always kept in mind the prey status of snakes and the awareness that input is happening.

Its a panic response, and one that is not uncommon with other animals under intimate physical duress.

Are there such expenses in established secondary components?


Typically I don't think that secondary defenses have a high metabolic costs, but that said, there are some secondary defenses that are likely costly. Snake venom, for example. But also skunk musk. While I don't know the metabolic cost, but I imagine that the secretions from Ladybugs are probably costly. Most secondary defenses are passive (i.e., the predator has to attack to experience the defense - like poisons).


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: November 30th, 2017, 6:56 pm 
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Yeah, the expulsion of fluids - which can be quite substantial - is a lapse of smooth muscle tension. It isnt specific to snakes whatsoever. I sometimes have wondered if fluid loss could impact translocation in some cases - leading the snake to seek recovery however mild, to hydration. Whether that is a pos or neg in trek.

The gland secretion itself doesnt seem like much, though I have read bears really dislike it.

Thanks for responding.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: December 1st, 2017, 5:12 pm 
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Why even bring this up? I'm not sure how its at all relevant, especially because eye witness accounts describe him reaching into a bag that he was told contained a harmless Dinodon sp., he didn't see the snake before it bit him.

Why do You care? Did you know Joe? I brought it up as a point of irony because of Joes storied background in the world of herpetology and his unquestionable all around expertise, his intense field knowledge of snakes and their behavior's and the mistake that ended it for him. The discussion is about mimicry in snakes. Joe assumed and....he bought it because he believed the snake to be a harmless mimic. There is a lot more to the story. Everything went wrong for Joey that day. Only an internet For-on would question his all around expertise. Now some mimicy snake stuff, I'm sure everyone already knows this but,

The genus Scapkiodontophis are familiar, common and widespread and sort of unusual coral snake mimics. They show geographic variation in coloration but all have components that in someway mimic coral snakes. What is commonly seen (not always) in these snakes is that the aposematic pattern is only present on the anterior part of the body and on the tail. Even this partial pattern is effective especially when the snakes foraging habits are taken into consideration. These snakes also display tail thrashing and head twitching. Another element to the snakes defense is a very long and fragile tail that could be linked to specialized pseudoautotomy. There is no evidence to support that the tail thrashing or the incomplete aposematic pattern is meant to direct predator attacks to the tail. What is thought is that the snakes were once unicolored snakes that developed specialized pseudoautotomy and the mimetic coloration in this genus came about much later.

Urotheca is a group that contains two species of coral snake mimics, U. elapoides and U. euryzona (I'm guessing that's where the taxonomy still stands). Elapoides and euryzona display color variation that closely resembles local color variation seen in sympatric species of coral snakes . Most notably the redtail coral snake. Urotheca are distantly related to Scapkiodontophisshares but share the same characteristic of a very long and disproportionately thickened and fragile tail as seen in the Scapkiodontophis coral snake mimics.

Ernie Eison


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File comment: This harmless water snake is very convincing.
moc.jpg
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File comment: The Blanding's tree snake is not a perfect Boomslang mimic but when threatened it puts on a convincing display. Protecting it from generalizing predators having innate or other triggered responses to boomslang behavior.
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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: December 1st, 2017, 5:52 pm 

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...

...

Did you actually post a picture of a Cottonmouth, a venomous snake, and call it "This harmless water snake is quite convincing"?

...

...


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: December 2nd, 2017, 5:19 pm 
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A more a, nuanced confusion is Ernie mixing up the term Disruptive Coloration with Outline Disruptive.

Outline Disruptive Pattern In snakes, chevron markings, blotches, can melt into the shades and irregularities of ground features. Geckos - especially guys that repose on bark do it great, with webbing, skin flaps, fringes and tubercles.

Disruptive coloration, describes a different, less cryptic dynamic, to my understanding.

Although I have known about Outline Disruptive patterns. I have been interested in how snakes will accentuate it with a ripple type rectilinear crawl. But I have only thought of Disruptive Coloration conceptually, as part of a delay/confusion tactic. I have always leaned on that in my interior belief system, which has been altered positively by the input of Martti and Monarchzman.


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PostPosted: December 2nd, 2017, 5:49 pm 
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Mistakes are always forgivable,

If one has the courage to admit them.



- Bruce Lee


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2017, 7:26 am 
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If you have a basic understanding of snakes and their behavior's. You will already know this but some are clearly novices in this area. They confuse and mix-up various defensive strategies and fail to understand the sequencing and predator prey relationship as it applies to the snakes that are the point of discussion.

During periods of activity. Coloration in its various forms along with fleeing are the snakes first line of defense. Only when the snake "feels" trapped do other secondary defenses come into play. Deimatic displays such as tail-coiling / flashing are secondary defenses initiated only when the snakes primary defenses (disruptive coloring / disruptive patterning for example) have failed. The snake has been discovered and fleeing is not an option. The snake must now activity defend itself. Other included defenses such as musking, bleeding from the cloaca, striking, etc. also are not utilized until the snake "feels" its primary defenses are no longer an option. These are active last line defenses.

Aposematism and cryptic coloration are opposing concepts but not always mutually exclusive. Snakes such as ringneck snakes or we can use Leptomicrurus scutiventris as the example if that is more familiar. Use a combination of the two ideas. If their cryptic coloration fails they have a deimatic secondary defense that includes revealing aposematic coloring. This display could work as both a deimatic (startle) against inexperienced animals or as a aposematic (a warning signal) against animals that are aware. Once engaged deimatic displays as they apply to the snakes that are the point of discussion are active defenses meant to be clearly seen.

Ernie Eison


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File comment: Its even funnier when someone doesn't get the joke.
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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2017, 7:45 am 
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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2017, 10:02 am 
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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2017, 5:40 pm 
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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2017, 5:53 pm 
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For the first time, with one exception I thought I should delete my posts.

I apologize, Ernie.

I guess this thread is over now. I have always had an interest in this topic so thanks to all who participated in a sincere desire to explore it.



-Kelly


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2017, 7:47 pm 

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WSTREPS wrote:
If you have a basic understanding of snakes and their behavior's. You will already know this but some are clearly novices in this area. They confuse and mix-up various defensive strategies and fail to understand the sequencing and predator prey relationship as it applies to the snakes that are the point of discussion.

During periods of activity. Coloration in its various forms along with fleeing are the snakes first line of defense. Only when the snake "feels" trapped do other secondary defenses come into play. Deimatic displays such as tail-coiling / flashing are secondary defenses initiated only when the snakes primary defenses (disruptive coloring / disruptive patterning for example) have failed. The snake has been discovered and fleeing is not an option. The snake must now activity defend itself. Other included defenses such as musking, bleeding from the cloaca, striking, etc. also are not utilized until the snake "feels" its primary defenses are no longer an option. These are active last line defenses.

Aposematism and cryptic coloration are opposing concepts but not always mutually exclusive. Snakes such as ringneck snakes or we can use Leptomicrurus scutiventris as the example if that is more familiar. Use a combination of the two ideas. If their cryptic coloration fails they have a deimatic secondary defense that includes revealing aposematic coloring. This display could work as both a deimatic (startle) against inexperienced animals or as a aposematic (a warning signal) against animals that are aware. Once engaged deimatic displays as they apply to the snakes that are the point of discussion are active defenses meant to be clearly seen.

Ernie Eison


I see you've been reading up on something you didn't really know anything about. Deimatic displays is a really cool subject and I've actually worked with someone who does work with katydids that perform deimatic displays. Congrats. I'm glad you're attempting to educate yourself and that I apparently am motivating you to do so. I'm doing my job, and that pleases me.

There is plenty of evidence that crypsis and aposematism are not clear cut. Some friends of mine actually showed that the Dyeing Poison Frog (Dendrobates tinctorius) can actually be cryptic depending distance they're viewed from and my own research shows that they're aposematic close up. But this isn't really a revolutionary concept. Many animals use the crypsis and aposematism. Newts, Bombina, etc. all use it. My own research on Pseudophryne has suggested that the conspicuous yellow and orange displays are effective against birds while the black-and-white venters are effective against mammals (you know, since we established that a high contrast signal is more effective than a color signal for mammals since many of them cannot perceive color well).

But I'm glad you're learning about deimatic displays. Glad I could motivate you to educate yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: December 4th, 2017, 6:04 pm 
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Joe assumed and....he bought it because he believed the snake to be a harmless mimic.


I did know Joe, I spent time in the field with him and almost went on his ill fated expedition but I got married instead. Had he survived the trip he would have been my graduate advisor. FYI, he didn't assume anything, he was told by his field assistant that the snake was a Lycodon and he reached in the bag before looking closely. I spoke with several people who WERE on the trip and the story is the same. He made a mistake but not because he was fooled by mimicry...


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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: December 6th, 2017, 8:21 am 
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I did know Joe, I spent time in the field with him and almost went on his ill fated expedition but I got married instead. Had he survived the trip he would have been my graduate advisor. FYI, he didn't assume anything, he was told by his field assistant that the snake was a Lycodon and he reached in the bag before looking closely. I spoke with several people who WERE on the trip and the story is the same. He made a mistake but not because he was fooled by mimicry..


He assumed it was harmless a mimic in the bag if he didn't he would not have grabbed it the way he did. He was told the snake bit the field assistant the day before. He did not double check carefully or maybe fatigue got the best of him. It should have been obvious that I didn't mean Joe assumed because he could not make a proper ID. Joe got screwed. I would not call Joe a friend (I don't loosely use the word as some do) but.......... In a world filled with intellectually stagnate read and repeat literary parrots posing as experts. Joe was one of the few that got it.


Ernie Eison


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File comment: That's the snake that was Slowinski's last (not my pic). Those are his initials on the tag. Its easy to see why it could be mistaken for a wolf snake. Joe gave a lot of lethal injections to snakes. It turned out to be a two way street.
snake.jpg
snake.jpg [ 22.88 KiB | Viewed 1248 times ]
File comment: Natricines use laterally flattening the body and triangulation of the head to fool predators or some of my trolls into believing they are dangerous pit vipers.
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 Post subject: Re: Could Pattern Mimicry in Snakes be Misinterpreted?
PostPosted: December 6th, 2017, 9:05 am 
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You wouldnt be his friend because he most likely wouldnt have wanted to be yours. I know this the way I know other things I cant explain.

Many theories I have pondered and constructed myself and only found out they already existed after I research. Refinement and revision with data I welcome because I am not insecure.


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