Common Gartersnake giving birth
Kate Kelly forwarded this link to a very cool video of a Common Gartersnake giving birth. You can see a couple other recently born snakes moving around while the star of the show is trying to break free of the amniotic sac it was born in.
We have snakes in Vermont that give live birth and others that lay eggs. As a general rule it is an advantage in colder climates like ours to give live birth. Giving live birth allows the mother to keep her body in the sun and help keep the young warm to that they can develop inside her body. If eggs are laid, they cannot move with the sun and must be laid in a spot that will stay warm enough to allow them to develop successfully.
Some egg-laying snakes lay eggs under the loose bark of dead trees or under flat rocks in sunny locations, some in manure and compost piles, and some in the warm sunny, south or southwest facing walls of buildings. The snakes that we have here in Vermont that are egg-layers also retain their eggs longer in their bodies than southern species of snakes. That way they won’t need to stay warm as long outside the body.
The only snake in Vermont that stays with its young is the Timber Rattlesnake. Yet, even the Timber Rattlesnake only stays with its young until they shed for the first time, or about two weeks.
Enjoy the video.
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