Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

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Eitan
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Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Eitan » August 19th, 2011, 5:01 pm

Found a Pine Snake this year with a particularly pointy rostral scale (compare below to a more typical specimen).

My question is, Do you think this is simply an exaggerated example of a normal rostrum? Or is it more likely a deformity, caused either by trauma or congenital defect? Or has it finally happened, that the love between Heterodon and Pituophis has been consumated at last?

I've also included a photo of an excavating female from last year, and pics of a hatchling a few months later, as it was emerging up through the sand.

Eitan
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Pointy

Image


Typical

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Pointy

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Typical

Image



Female Pine Snake excavating a nest

Image


Hatchling emerging several months later

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Image

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Steve Atkins
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Steve Atkins » August 19th, 2011, 5:07 pm

I'm not sure what to make of the "hogpine" but that last shot is so cool. How many time did you return before you caught them hatching?

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monklet
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by monklet » August 19th, 2011, 5:47 pm

Awesome post and Pine coverage Eitan! They ain't no deli-cup pines, that's for sure! :thumb: :D
fox cove 4 wrote:that last shot is so cool. How many time did you return before you caught them hatching?
No kidding! That is one incredible shot. ...maybe FHF photo of the year, all things considered. :shock:

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Chris Smith
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Chris Smith » August 19th, 2011, 6:27 pm

I agree, the last photo is amazing!

I think the snake in question has maybe had 'issues' (e.g. injury, genetic-defect, infection of the month, etc...). I see a lot of bullsnakes here in MN and there have been a few showing a similar 'pointy nose syndrome'. :lol:

Happy Herpin'
Chris

Shane_TX
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Shane_TX » August 19th, 2011, 7:20 pm

Or is it more likely a deformity, caused either by trauma or congenital defect?
Or could it be a genetic trait that increases/decreases survivability? It doesn't seem to be trauma related.

I'd love to read the story behind those hatchling photos.

Shane

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Bill Love
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Bill Love » August 19th, 2011, 7:35 pm

I haven't carefully perused enough pine snake snouts to make an informed guess, but I LOVE the nesting and emerging hatchling shots. Very cool!!!

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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by mikemike » August 19th, 2011, 8:21 pm

I'm baffled on it too, but I'm in agreement with everyone else... that sequence and last shot are amazing!

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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by monklet » August 19th, 2011, 8:50 pm

Wow, I was so overwhelmed by the emergent hatchling shot that I forgot about this stunning image. This would give any Pit lover a jolt!
Image

ugh
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by ugh » August 19th, 2011, 9:05 pm

Looks like Moe got to him first,. Unfortunately for the pine snake Curly really pissed him off earlier that day......It got ugly. :lol:

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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by justinm » August 19th, 2011, 9:25 pm

Eitan, I think you woke up today and said I want to honestly get some opinions. Then what happened was a little used muscle in the group AWESOME was flexed, and all hell broke loose on this thread.

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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by dragoncjo » August 20th, 2011, 3:31 am

Eitan I've seen that in pine snakes on a couple occassions. Pines get bit on the nose so often maybe it is just scar tissue building up???

As for the little pine he was in that spot like that without moving for like a week and half. It was the strangest thing.

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Eitan
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Eitan » August 20th, 2011, 4:31 am

Thanks everyone for your comments . . . much appreciated!

I also suspect some long-ago trauma, maybe a bite on the face when the snake was young, that left it with such a pinched appearance. Wonder if the distortion is actually an advantage rather than a disability, perhaps the shovel shape being better for digging?

As to the emerging hatchling, I don't have much to tell. A few months after I saw the female digging I returned to the nesting area. I hadn't been monitoring the nest, just happened to come back that day. When I arrived I ran into dragoncjo, who was just leaving the site, and he was kind enough to point out his discovery. We were very careful not to disturb the baby, and I sat there for about 30 minutes waiting to see if it was going to come out any further, but there was no movement; in fact, at one point I thought it might be dead, but then a tongue-flick reassured me. I looked around the area for signs of any other hatchlings, but didn't see any.

I left for a few hours to check out other sites, including another nesting area that had hatchling sheds emerging from holes in the ground (see photo below), but no neonates found. Went back to the first spot, and the baby was still there in exactly the same position. I've seen captive hatchlings take more than a day to emerge from their eggs, so I figured it could be a long wait, and decided to leave. Now dragoncjo tells me it was there for ~10 days . . . amazing!

Eitan
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Hatchling Pine Snake sheds emerging from holes in the nesting ground

Image

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Ridge Walker
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Ridge Walker » August 20th, 2011, 5:06 am

Great shots Eitan! I am going to have to get some photography tips from you one of these days.

RW

dragoncjo
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by dragoncjo » August 20th, 2011, 5:38 am

The amazing part is I was so engrossed in observing the snake that I have no pictures to show for the observation or the snake digging, pathetic. I too thought it died after hatching but it was alive. I'm glad you were able to capture the moment.

I think everyone can take tips from Eitan on all aspects of this hobby, its hard to find any flaws in Mr. Grunwald's technique. Eitan's one of those guys who give the hobby a good name.

bobassetto
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by bobassetto » August 20th, 2011, 6:52 am

this aint a hobby.......its a WAY OF LIFE.......if youse aint noticed....

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Mulebrother
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Mulebrother » August 20th, 2011, 8:38 am

Definitely one for the ages right there...talk about right place right time! Pointy nose is cool, but the emerging one just takes the cake!

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JakeScott
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by JakeScott » August 20th, 2011, 10:54 am

Eitan, that is freakin' amazing. Well, the main topic is pretty interesting and I'm with the others on the injury/disease/genetic, but the secondary topic is truly awesome! That baby sat there for roughly 10 days!!! I know Heterodon do similar things where they will just sit there and breath while living off their egg sac.
Enjoyed this a lot, good to see your posts again!

-Jake Scott

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Dan Krull
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Dan Krull » August 20th, 2011, 11:09 am

My impression is that it is an old wound. It looks to me like a solid bite to the tip of the nose. The rostral was def. affected, but the main blow appears to have occurred just posterior to the rostral. The overall "pinched appearance might be explained by a malformity of the the nose due to genetics/incubation, but the smooth, healed look to the rostral scale looks like old, healed damage to me; as does the misshaped nose area.

JUST MY OPINION.

Dan

PS Hatchling coming out of the sand is freaken ridiculous.

Verhoodled
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Verhoodled » August 20th, 2011, 11:23 am

Pit platyrhinoplasty! The things herps do nowadays to fit in...

Wonder who her surgeon was? They should advertise in Herp Nation. ;)

Utterly fantastic photos! Thanks for sharing them!

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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Flippin Idiot » August 20th, 2011, 12:17 pm

Eitan,
You've become really good with your photoshop skills. Just kidding, that is an awesome set of photos and observations.

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Fundad
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Fundad » August 20th, 2011, 5:06 pm

Awesome observation..

Thanks for sharing..

:beer: :thumb: :shock: :shock:

Fundad

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Eitan
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Eitan » August 21st, 2011, 11:26 am

Thanks again for all your comments on the pinched Pine and the baby pictures! And dragoncjo, you're way too kind, but I do appreciate your generous thoughts . . . thanks!

As to improving my photoshopping skills, why didn't I think of that? LOL

Eitan
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Berkeley Boone
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Berkeley Boone » August 22nd, 2011, 7:56 am

Eitan-
That was amazing.
I kind of remember that second pine that we found on our trip together up there had a pinched nose like this one. The rest of his head was all messed up, pretty severely, so it may have something to do with an old injury. This one seems lucky!
Is the nesting female at the spot where we found the first one? That looked like a great location to me.

Fantastic photos, all around. And wow! That baby sticking out of the sand. No words. Only multiple pants changes. Even here in my office!

Thanks for sharing.
--Berkeley

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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by reptilist » August 22nd, 2011, 8:10 am

Simply fabulous!

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cayrip
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by cayrip » August 22nd, 2011, 8:11 am

Berkeley Boone wrote:Eitan-
That was amazing.
I kind of remember that second pine that we found on our trip together up there had a pinched nose like this one. The rest of his head was all messed up, pretty severely, so it may have something to do with an old injury. This one seems lucky!
Is the nesting female at the spot where we found the first one? That looked like a great location to me.

Fantastic photos, all around. And wow! That baby sticking out of the sand. No words. Only multiple pants changes. Even here in my office!

Thanks for sharing.
--Berkeley
I concur with Berkeley here but I forgot my change of pants---very embarrassing! Great photos and the baby out to the sand photo is a once in a 1000 lifetimes shot!

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Daniel Parker
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Daniel Parker » August 22nd, 2011, 8:30 am

I echo everyone else's sentiments on the photos. Well done.

Maybe Pinocchio there hasn't done enough digging to keep its nose worn down, like an overgrown beak on a box turtle.

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vincemartino
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by vincemartino » August 22nd, 2011, 9:46 am

Cool shot's there. You guys have the Pine Snake situation on lockdown lol.

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Eitan
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Eitan » August 23rd, 2011, 6:23 am

Berkeley --- No, the nesting female was at a different location than the first Pine snake we saw together, but thanks for reminding me of the second one (pic below). You're right, the jaw and eyes were badly injured from an obvious bite to the face --- the worst damage was on the side opposite the camera --- which also resulted in a disfigured rostrum, similar to the more recent snake. This would seem to support the idea that the pointy nose is most likely related to trauma.

Eitan


Injured Pine Snake
Image

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Berkeley Boone
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Re: Interesting Pine Snake --- Opinions, please.

Post by Berkeley Boone » August 23rd, 2011, 6:40 am

Hi Eitan-
That's great- I am glad to hear there are some other reliable nesting sites and females up there.
Great pic of the injured pine. Mine doesn't show it as well, but here are two photos of the same snake, just for reference for the other folks reading this thread. In the first pic, you can see a little bit more of that extensive damage that Eitan was mentioning. Poor fella had it rough!

Image

Image

(*please excuse the odd color. The camera at the time was having white-balance issues, and I tried to clean it up as best I could with photoshop)

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