We agreed to meet at 10:00 AM the next day and process the snake.
(Mark measuring the neonate)
(Safely contained in a snake tube)
This snake measured 15.5 inches in length, weighed 1.36 ounces and is a female. She has one little button and rattle which tells us she has shed once. The average size of newborn timber rattlesnakes is 9 to 13 inches. So this snake is considerably larger than that. Our hypothesis is that this snake was born earlier than is typical for this species. Perhaps sometime the end of July or first of August. We know it is a neonate as the umbilical scar is still visible.
We released this little darling back to the piece of tin where she was found after P.I.T. tagging her. We took some time and searched the area for additional litter mates to this snake. We did not locate a single other snake of any kind.
Ten days later I was at the farm looking for snakes and found another neonate under the exact same piece of tin. I suspected it was probably the same snake we tagged previously, but decided to capture it anyway. I took it into work with me and called Dr. Mills. He met me at the office and we went to one of MWSU biology labs. He ran his scanner over the snake and it had no tag in it!!!! This was a new snake!!! We were so excited to have another neonate and most likely a litter mate to the one from 10 days ago. We measured her at 16.1 inches and she weighed 1.94 ounces. Again it is a female. We P.I.T. tagged her and I ran back to the farm and released her back to hiding spot. This is such an awesome opportunity for us to be able to tag not one, but two neonates. The data that we can potentially get from these snakes is invaluable. I can hardly wait to see how they do on their own.