2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Trailing of Maternal Chemical Cues by Neonate Timber Rattlesnakes, Crotalus horridus
Peter J. Muelleman♦
Dr. Chad Montgomery , Faculty Mentor

Chemical cues are important aspects in the life history of many animals. Snakes utilize chemical cues for foraging, post-envenomation tracking and reproduction. Recent studies have indicated that some snakes, namely temperate pit-vipers, engage in more social behaviors than previously thought, mostly mediated by chemical cues. The goals of this study were to determine if neonate timber rattlesnakes preferentially use the chemical trail of their own mother to locate a suitable hibernaculum as opposed to the trails of other conspecifics with the use of radiotelemetry. We also looked at the status, demographics and size of the study population. Over the course of two study seasons 43 individuals were marked. Two neonates were tracked from time of birth to the ingress of the hibernaculum and were documented to use the same hibernaculum as their mother.

Keywords: Timber Rattlesnake, Chemosensory trailing, Chemical cues, Behavior, Ecology

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 47-3
Location: MG 2001
Time: 1:45

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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