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Nature's Signature


Meet Lucy, the Leucistic Texas Rat Snake. Doesn't she make you feel welcome?

Leucistic (leucism) - Similar to albino (albinism).Here's a few links that are more in-depth about it: Link 1 Link 2


This webpage is both humorous and educational. Here's the story behind the photos:

I bought Lucy about 1 1/2yrs ago. I was told that she could get a bit feisty at times but she had always been quite a sweetheart to me, never biting me or striking at me. While handling Lucy the other night I decided to take a few photos to send to the person I got her from, to show them how sweet she is. Debbie (my wife) held her while I set up the photo scene. After a few photos Lucy wasn't quite so sweet anymore. The girl's been with me for a year and a half of sweet times and then unleashes her fury. I guess the honeymoon's over. (Been there, done that, before.)

Actually, she's back to being a sweetheart. What caused her attitude to change during the photo session was her being in an unfamiliar environment, the camera being in her face, and the bright camera flash. I feel very fortunate to have been able to capture this snake's actions/reactions in the photos, giving me a chance to share them with people who may never experience it in any other way. Read the captions below the photos for a description of what is taking place.



First photo taken. No sign of trouble; she doesn't feel threatened. Notice the normal shape of the snake's head.



After a few camera flashes she begins to feel threatened. Notice the shape of her head now. It's getting wider, more triangular shaped.

What North American snakes have triangular shaped heads? Venomous snakes (all but the Coral Snake). Mimicking a venomous snake is a natural defense mechanism for this species.



She's spreading her jaws even wider now.





Doesn't that look eerily close to a rattlesnake? (ignoring the colors)

This is done to ward off humans & animals, as even other animals know that venomous snakes have triangular heads.




Since I didn't fall for the "venomous snake" trick she decides to try to bluff me into thinking she's really mean by opening her mouth. In person it's pretty convincing.






Looks as if the gator is saying,

"Uhh, will you quit freaking her out and get her off me? Now?!"



Is she mean? No - not even close to it. Right after taking the last photo I removed her from the gator with my bare hands. All of her actions were mere posturing. She's a good bluffer.

Hope you enjoyed the photos!

Mikie - aka:HappyHillbilly

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November 13, 2010