CZAAWE Resource Article

Behavior of captive-raised rattlesnakes (Crotalus enyo) as a function of rearing conditions
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Zoo Biology
Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430090307.abs Two litters of rattlesnakes (Crotalus enyo; n = 6 per litter) were raised in large cages and small plastic boxes, respectively. No significant differences in exploration of a novel environment were observed between the litters, or between either of them and a group of wild-caught C. enyo, suggesting that the common practice of rearing baby snakes in small cages has no debilitating consequences on these measures. In the absence of differences between the litters, the two samples were pooled and additional analyses revealed the existence of reliable individual variation. Experiment 2 compared the two litters and the wild-caught snakes on measures of prey-directed behavior. The two captive-reared litters did not differ, but both exhibited lower levels of strike-induced chemosensory searching than did wild-caught snakes.