I left the Rose Marie for the weekend to go birding and spend some time in a National Forest. As it happened, a bad lightning storm blew in fast yesterday out of Texas (damn you, Texas!) and we decided to break camp and I came back to the Rose Marie for a few more days.
But we did get one morning in, yesterday morning, and while out in the forest, came across this cutie quite by surprise.
The Cottonmouth, or Water Moccasin (Agkistrodon piscivorus), is a species of pit viper native to the southeast United States, but I’ve never seen one in the wild for sure (some maybe-I-think-run-away-nows). Before today I could tell you it gets its Cottonmouth name from the very white lining of its mouth when it rears up to strike, that it’s venomous, and that it’s closely related to the Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix). But looking up the Latin binomial today to make sure I spelled it correctly, I discovered that it’s a species that’s capable of parthenogenesis, which is probably now the coolest thing I know about this organism.
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