U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
News.bytes Extra, issue 445
A long and sidewinding road
In BLM-California News.bytes issue 444 (Aug. 19, 2010), our Wildlife Trivia Question of the Week concerned rattlesnakes. Almost as an afterthought, I linked to an old web page with an "interesting" photo of rattlesnakes in a culvert.
That web page (warning: link not safe for ophidiophobes -- those with a snake phobia) was from the July 2, 2002 issue of News.bytes (issue 66). It included a photograph purportedly taken by a BLM work crew in northern California. The photo showed rattlesnakes piling on one another in a culvert.
This time around, the photo brought a quick email response from Sean Barry, campus biological safety office at UC Davis:
A smaller copy of the photo appears on Snopes.com – a website well known for debunking Internet rumors and urban legends, and which I used often. I thought we had the original photo. The one on that old web page almost looks like a scan of a printed photo -- but if so, I don't have the print.
Mr. Barry suggests the photo may have come from…
Gary Diridoni, wildlife and fisheries biologist for the BLM Redding Field Office, concurs:
I have contacted Snopes.com with an update/correction, since they linked to our web page.
And so I don't inadvertently create the need for more corrections: The title of this item should not be taken literally. The sidewinder is Crotalus cerastes -- the rattlesnakes in the infamous "culvert photo" are not sidewinders but western diamondback rattlers, Crotalus atrox.
- Your News.bytes editor, 8/26/10
|Last updated: 08-26-2010|
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