Nature

Watch This Rattlesnake Mating Ritual in the Bluebonnets

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It’s a beautiful time of year in which the Texas wildflowers have started to bloom in all their glory. You may be tempted like many to take a break and get out to enjoy them. As we try to do each year, a bit of caution needs to be urged again this year. Although the bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes look beautiful, among them are species of snakes who are in the midst of their spring mating rituals.

Such is the case in the video captured below by Jimmy Martin, near Cedar Ridge Preserve. Situated outside of Dallas, Texas, along Mountain Creek Parkway, Cedar Ridge Preserve and Prayer Mountain are home to amazing trails and outdoor experiences in wide-open spaces. Martin went out there to get some fresh air, take in the views, and to pray. He was pulled off to the side of the road with his emergency flashers on, capturing the scenery in video, when he realized two male Western Diamondback rattlesnakes were fighting for mating rights.

Video: Facebook/Jimmy Martin

The males of some rattlesnake species, such as Western Diamondbacks, tend to fight one another when spring mating season occurs. This is to see which one gets to win the competition for a viable female mate. Known in the animal kingdom as “combat dances,” like in Martin’s video above, they consist of two males doing some nasty intertwining of the uppermost portions of their bodies. With their necks and heads held up, the winner is generally the larger of the two males.

In a phone interview about his video, Martin told us of his amazement at seeing the snakes in their mating ritual and actually being able to capture it on his phone. Having gone to the site to experience some personal time and a reprieve from recent health news, economy headlines, and life in general, he wondered if his experience was meant as a sign of sorts. Whether such is the case can only be ultimately determined by Martin himself, in relation to his own life and times. Nonetheless, he has shared the video on his Facebook and Instagram profiles, the former of which has been viewed 244K times and shared by 12K.

Video: Facebook/Jimmy Martin

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