Rattlesnakes are warm and cuddly creatures who like to be around other snakes, researchers say
- Snake seems to take comfort in being close to its own kind – much like humans
- They apparently feel better when wriggling into group hug with other snakes
Rattlesnakes are misunderstood and are actually warm and cuddly creatures, according to research.
A study from Loma Linda University in California says the venomous snake appears to take comfort in being close to its own kind – much like humans.
The snakes apparently gain a sense of well-being when they wriggle into a group hug with others of their species, with their heart rate lowering and rattling stopping.
The findings challenge the notion that reptiles are solitary hunters that display little in the way of complex social behavior.
Study author William Hayes said: ‘People are eager to just chop their heads off… but the animals are sentient, capable of emotions.’
A study from Loma Linda University in California says the venomous snake appears to take comfort in being close to its own kind – much like humans (stock image of a rattlesnake)
The study confirms suspicions raised by Prof Hayes from his out-of-hours work, when he is often called upon to wrangle rattlers caught by homeowners in the mountains of Southern California.
He said he usually puts a captured snake in a bucket and carries it safely into the wild, with the creature typically rattling furiously all the way.
But he said he noticed that when two or more snakes were in a bucket, the rattling tended to ease.
Co-author Cheslea Martin said: ‘It tells us that when they are with another snake it reduces their stress response.
‘It has never been reported in reptiles before. It’s something that humans do.’