Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Infant Mortality

Brown Snake. This snake is very timid and will freeze in its tracks if it senses you there - just like this one did. I didn't move for the entire time I was standing and taking photos - about 1 1/2 or two minutes.

I labeled this a Brown Snake, but it might be a Northern Red-Bellied Snake as they look very similar from above. I didn't pick the snake up to confirm its identity because both of these species of snake are so timid. The Northern Red-Bellied Snake has a red belly, of course!

The following is from the Ontario Snake Reference Guide:
Brown (or DeKay's) Snake: Brown with a beige belly, and often small black spots along the back. This small (up to 40 cm) snake is sometimes found when moving rocks or pieces of wood. Very timid, the Brown Snake does not bite or musk. Because it eats slugs and worms, this snake is a gardener's friend! They are nocturnal, and can be found even in urban areas throughout southern Ontario where patches of habitat exist.

The following juvenile creatures were victims of road mortality.

Stop reading if you don't want to read or see more - the photos are NOT gory.

Smooth Green Snake - yes, that's really what the species is called! The underside fades to a pale creamy white.

This poor snake was run over - you can see where the stones in the road punctured its body. It was obviously writhing in agony to get all twisted up like that.

The following is from the Ontario Snake Reference Guide:
Smooth Green Snake: A beautiful bright green snake to behold. The green snake does not defend itself if caught, but it is a fast mover. Ontario’s only insect-eating snakes, they love to eat grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars and also spiders. They may grow to about 50 cm in length, and are very slender.

Blandings Turtle hatchling - it is on top of a piece of 4x4, so you can see how small it is.

This turtle hatchling was hit by a vehicle and suffered fatal injuries. I will not post the photo of the hatchlings underside. :(

A Northern Red-Bellied Snake - another poor roadkill victim. I confirmed the identity by taking a photo of the underside of the snake - which I will not post here as it is a bit gory.

The following is from the Ontario Snake Reference Guide:
Northern Red-Bellied Snake: Similar to the brown snake, but even smaller, and as the name implies, it has a red (or orange) belly. The back may be plain brown or gray. Very secretive, this snake is usually only discovered when a hiding place is exposed. Slugs are its main diet, so this is also an excellent garden snake. A very timid snake, it has never been known to bite in self-defense. Red-bellies are found as far north as Lake Superior, but they do not seem to survive in urban areas like brown snakes manage to do.

There was also a very large toad that was squashed that I will not post a photo. Spread your fingers wide apart - that's about the size of the toad. So sad.

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