With their sinuous bodies, sharp fangs and, sometimes, potent venom, snakes have long struck fear into the hearts of humans and our primate ancestors. But when it comes to mating, do these ancient reptiles also have a softer side? However, the pheromones cannot be the whole explanation because, with very few exceptions , they do not diffuse through the air, so suitors need to get close before they detect them. If there is already another male in the area, the males may engage in non-violent combat. Females prefer males that can afford to spend the most energy in displaying their traits because it is difficult to fake good genes. These interactions sometimes lasted for periods of up to a month, showing that the males put a large amount of their energy into mating attempts. When other male garter snakes smell those pheromones they will all swarm the female snake and surround her in a ball.
Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Garter snakes bear live young rather than lay eggs. Previously, scientists had assumed that female snakes are submissive during courtship and mating, but it is now clear that they have a prominent role. It is still unclear what cues the females use to choose one suitor over another. Although most snake mate one on one there are a few species that mate in what is called a mating ball.
Differences Between Male and Female Garter Snakes - soekris.info
Our study provides the first full scale overview of the evolution of snake sex chromosomes at the genomic level, thus greatly expanding our knowledge of reptilian and vertebrate sex chromosomes evolution. The anaconda's swollen body suggested she was full of food, so Rivas waited for her to throw up: snakes often vomit after a meal if they have over-eaten or are stressed, to make themselves lighter so they can flee. They have eggs but hold them internally until they hatch and then have a live birth. A male might also gain an advantage by being the last to mate with a female. Active selection of sperm by females appears to occur in a manner that enhances female fitness.
For these reasons it is suggested that you stick to probing your snakes to find their genders. In anacondas, females are on average 4. He thinks that assumption stems from bias by early researchers, who were predominantly male. During this period all the males are vying for the female to mate with them. Though snakes garner much media and research attention, the reproductive strategies of many species are still shrouded in mystery.